Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is required when a tooth becomes very painful and there is little hope of it settling down on its own. Root canal treatment will also be necessary when a tooth becomes 'abscessed' or when there is evidence of a long-term infection in the bone surrounding a dead tooth.

When a tooth becomes infected, the spaces within the tooth are filled with millions of bacteria. The objective of root canal treatment is to clean out these spaces, or root canal system, to kill of as many of the bacteria as is possible, and to seal the system so that it remains free of bacteria.

Why see us for root canal treatment?

We have the skills and equipment to carry out the treatment properly. The shape of the root canal system is often very complex and there are many 'nooks and crannies' into which the bacterial can grow. We have invested in surgical microscopes that allow us to find these very small spaces and canals, so that we can improve on the success rates for this type of treatment. We also have other specialised instrumentation to make the process quicker and more predictable.

It is important that root canal treatment is carried out to the highest standards on the first attempt, as re-treatment of failed cases has a lower success rate. An uninfected tooth may have as high as a 95% chance of success, whereas in an infected tooth the success rate may be as low as 65%.


Root canal treatment – some FAQs

Will it be painful?

We are very good at making sure it is not painful when we carry out the treatment. We will always make sure you are comfortable during the procedure. Afterwards, unfortunately, in a few cases (about 5%) it can be quite sore and 'flare up'. This can be treated with pain-killers and antibiotics if necessary.

How long does the treatment take?

This depends on the complexity of the case; back molar teeth take longer than front teeth. In most cases we allow 1 to 2 hours in total for a difficult case, and about half of that for a simple one.

Is a crown needed on a root treated tooth?

In most cases yes, especially on back teeth. A crown will stop the weakened tooth from breaking up.

Do you accept patients on referral for root canal therapy?

Yes, we treat many patients who have been referred to us by their own dentists. We will carry out the root canal treatment and the patient's own dentist will complete any crowns or fillings at a later stage.

Root Canal treatment at a West Sussex Dentist