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Why do I need root canal treatment?

If the dental pulp inside your tooth has become infected or inflamed due to advanced decay, damage or a large filling, root canal treatment is required. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue and connects your tooth with the gum through the root canals. When infected, the pulp begins to die but bacteria continues to travel down into the gum, causing significant swelling and pain. If left untreated, this could result in an abscess, bone regression and even tooth loss.

If you have an infection in your tooth, the main symptoms will be pain and increased sensitivity to hot and cold.

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<h2>What does Root Canal Treatment involve?</h2>

What does Root Canal Treatment involve?

Root canal treatment often takes place over several visits to the practice, with the length of treatment dependent on your individual case and the tooth being treated. Back teeth can have up to four root canals, so will take longer to treat than those in the front. Multiple appointments are spaced over weekly intervals, with your tooth covered and temporarily restored to protect it between visits.

Initially, we examine your teeth and take an x-ray to check for any other signs of infection. Using local anaesthetic to minimise discomfort, we remove the infected pulp using a very small file. The root canals are then shaped using tiny instruments and flushed with an antibacterial solution to kill any germs.

The cleaned root canals are then completely filled with a rubber material, known as gutta-percha, to seal the tooth and prevent any bacteria from entering in the future. We then seal the filled root canal with a permanent filling or crown to restore the correct tooth shape and function.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I look after my tooth following root canal treatment?

    If looked after properly, your root canal treated tooth should last for many years. The best way to keep all your teeth healthy, including your root canal treated tooth, is to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing for 2 minutes, twice a day, avoiding eating too many sugary foods and visiting your dentist for regular check ups is important.

  • Will root canal treatment hurt?

    As root canal treatment takes place under local anaesthetic, it should not be painful and will feel just like having a standard filling. Many people believe root canal treatment is very painful, but in most cases patients feel relief, as the pain they have been experiencing from the infection is much more intense. You may experience some discomfort or gum swelling in the first few days following treatment, but this can be managed with paracetamol or ibuprofen. If the pain persists, please contact your dentist for advice.

  • Don’t I need the dental pulp?

    When your teeth are growing, the dental pulp is vital as it helps them to develop properly by carrying nutrients to and from the gum. However, once your teeth are fully grown, the only real purpose of the pulp is to alert you to any damage or infection. Therefore, it is possible to remove it without any problems.

  • Are there any alternatives to root canal treatment?

    The only alternative to root canal treatment is to remove the infected tooth. Unless it is absolutely necessary, at Edinburgh Dental Studio we always advise against extraction and aim to keep your natural teeth. A missing tooth can cause the bone in your jaw to shrink due to lack of stimulation, affecting your facial shape and structure. Gaps can also cause problems with eating, drinking and speaking, affect your confidence and increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

  • Is root canal treatment safe?

    Yes, root canal treatment is safe and effective when carried out by experienced dental professionals. At Edinburgh Dental Studio, our dentists are highly skilled and knowledgeable and have performed many successful root canal treatments. You are in safe hands.

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