Root Canals

Root canal treatment is typically carried out to save your tooth from extraction and involves removing infected tissue from the centre of the tooth (root canal system), cleaning the root canal, and then filling it to prevent further infection or damage.

When is root canal treatment needed?

Root canal treatment is needed when the pulp or soft tissue found within the root canal system, which contains blood vessels and nerves, has come under attack from bacteria in the mouth.

Why root canal treatment is necessary

Once the pulp of a tooth has become infected it starts to slowly die. The bacteria then multiplies and can spread throughout the tooth’s root canal system where it may eventually form an abscess. An abscess is an area of inflammation which collects pus and may cause swelling of the soft tissues that surround the tooth. Symptoms can vary from a dull ache to a severe pain, and your tooth may feel very tender when you bite.

Does treatment hurt?

Root canal treatment shouldn’t feel any different to a normal filling as we use a local anaesthetic to alleviate any discomfort. It is likely to feel tender after treatment, although this should subside within a few days.

The procedure

Root canal treatment is a complex procedure and requires a lot of patience and skill so it can take more than one visit to complete.

The main objective of root canal treatment is to remove all of the infection from the root canal which is then cleaned and filled to prevent re-infection.

The first visit will be to remove any infected pulp and drain any abscesses. The root canal is then given a thorough clean and shaped in preparation for filling. Once this is done a temporary filling will be placed and you’ll be sent home to wait for the tooth to settle.

At a later visit the tooth is checked and if all the infection has cleared, it will be permanently filled. You may need a dental crown to provide extra strength to the weakened tooth.

What happens if I don’t have treatment?

Once the pulp has been attacked by bacteria it can’t heal and it isn’t an option to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. As a result the only alternative is to have the tooth extracted or replace it with a dental implant.


Please note our General Dentistry services are only available in Manchester.

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