Root Canal Treatment (Endodontics)

At Colchester Dental Surgery, all of our dentists are committed to helping you keep your teeth for as long as possible.  Root canal treatment (endodontics) is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal system) and aims to preserve the tooth.  Infections can be caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth, and can happen after tooth decay, leaking fillings, or trauma to teeth (for example after a fall).

A tooth is made up of the crown, which is visible in the mouth, and the root, which extends into the bone of the jaw, anchoring the tooth in position.  Within the root, the dental pulp, or ‘nerve’ is contained.  It is this part of the tooth that can become infected, and is treated in root canal therapy.  Front teeth usually have one root canal, but back teeth can often have several.  At Colchester Dental Surgery, Dr Afroz has completed further postgraduate training to ensure she can treat more complex cases.

Root canal treatment is only required when dental X-rays or clinical tests show that the nerve of the tooth has been damaged by a bacterial infection.  The symptoms of infection include pain when eating or drinking, biting or chewing, or a loose tooth.  As the infection progresses, these symptoms often disappear as the nerve dies.  Further symptoms such as pain or swelling can occur following this.  We always recommend visiting a dentist if you are experiencing, or have experienced toothache.

In root canal treatment, the infected nerve is removed from the tooth, and the space is cleaned and filled with a rubber-based material to prevent further re-infection.  Often, the tooth will require a filling or crown to protect the remaining tooth structure.  Before root canal treatment, you will usually be given a local anaesthetic, so the procedure shouldn’t be painful, and no more unpleasant than having a filling

Root canal treatment is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.