What is a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is used to treat a large cavity that has reached the nerve endings of the tooth. The centre of the tooth and its root canal system will usually be infected by this stage and can be extremely painful.
Root canal treatments are available for NHS and private patients across the West Midlands at Blackheath Dental practice. Our expert dentists and endodontists will carry out consultation before diagnosing suitable treatment.
Why does a root canal become infected?
Bacterial infections can develop for a number of reasons including severe trauma to a tooth from an accident, progressive tooth decay from poor diet and oral hygiene, or the result of a leaky filling.
A damaged or decayed tooth is vulnerable to minute bacteria creeping in and attacking its soft tissue or pulp. If the bacteria is left to spread then the infection can extend to more vulnerable teeth through the root canal system.
NHS Dental Costs
Band 3 treatment - £282.80
Dental repair work such as fitting dentures, crowns or bridges is covered by Band 3 NHS dental treatment, as well as any treatment that would fall under Band 1 or 2.
How can you tell if a root canal treatment is needed?
The following symptoms are a good indication of an infected tooth root canal. Symptoms will include pain when biting or eating food, or experiencing discomfort with hot and cold food and drink, or if a tooth starts to loosen.
Unfortunately, if the infection progresses untreated then the tooth pulp may die and the symptoms disappear for the short-term. Eventually the pain indicators will return with additional gum and facial swelling, and pus discharge from the infected tooth, which may turn a darker colour and usually indicated that the infection has started to spread through the root canal system.
Book a dental appointment to discuss any concerns with a qualified dentist. If the tooth pulp has been damaged an X-ray will highlight the infected areas.
How is a root canal treatment performed?
A root canal treatment will take two or more appointments depending on how many teeth are infected and where they are positioned in your mouth. Premolars and back molar teeth have two-three roots comprising one or two root canals whereas canine and front incisor teeth only have a single root.
The first dental appointment will include an X-ray and consultation to advise on the most suitable course of treatment.
The second appointment will involve a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the infected tooth followed by the removal of all infected and damaged soft tissue. In most cases the tooth will survive and the dentist may recommend a permanent filling or crown to help protect the tooth and prevent further infection.
Talk to the professionals
Depending on the severity of the infection there may be multiple appointments to complete the full treatment.
Blackheath Dental practice has a team of professional dentists and endontontists available to carry out root canal procedures to ease your pain and support the healthy restoration of teeth.