Root Canal Treatment & Procedure

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Say goodbye to toothache
quickly and decisively

When you’re in pain all you want to happen is for the pain to go away. Toothache is a horrible thing and that’s something that we understand. There are many different reasons for toothache and one of the main reasons for severe pain is infection. Root canal treatment is all about removing infection and bacteria from the tooth so the body can heal itself and restore the tooth back to normal.

Our dental team can carry out a consultation and provide a diagnosis. Please get in touch to book your appointment with Gentle Dental Care. Call 020 3925 3846 or fill in our form and we will get back to you shortly.

When do you need a root canal?

A tooth can become infected in a few different ways, but the main one is from bacteria reaching the internal pulp structure of the tooth. A normal tooth is supplied with blood by a small vessel that enters through the tip of the root, which keeps the tooth alive and healthy. The inside part of the tooth has a small hollow space in the middle of each root which receives this blood supply, and this is called the root canal system. Bacteria from the mouth can reach this root canal system either via decay or a fracture in the tooth. Once the bacteria have infected the root canal system it’s very difficult for you to remove them yourself as they are hidden in the internal portion of the tooth.

The aim of the treatment is to gain access to the root canal, remove the bacteria by flushing it with lots of disinfectant, and then to seal it up to prevent bacteria from getting down there again. Once this has been done we place crowns or fillings to seal the tooth.

The stages of tooth decay

  • Early decay
    Bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugars you consume, and they produce acid as a by-product. This acid destroys your tooth tissue and you get a cavity in the tooth.
  • Advancement of decay
    Left untreated, the decay will get deeper into the tooth making it harder for you to clean which increases the speed of progression.
  • Bacterial penetration of the pulp
    The bacteria will carry on advancing, destroying tooth tissue until they reach the pulp. This is the internal blood supply of the tooth. Once this is infected, the tooth will need root canal treatment.
  • Bacterial progression to the bone
    Left untreated, the bacteria will go all the way to the end of the canal and reach the bone. Once this has happened the tooth can be painful to bite down on and can cause constant and severe pain.

What does a Root Canal procedure involve?

We use high-spec microscopes to ensure we do the best job. Root canal treatment can be difficult to carry out as root canals are very small. Using the microscope means visibility is good, resulting in a much better outcome.

Many nervous patients come through our doors and we do everything we can to reassure them. We can offer you sedation if you are worried about root canal treatment, and our gentle, patient dentists do all they can to help you feel as calm as possible. We truly believe that dentistry doesn’t have to be painful and this belief has shaped our patient care over the years.

How Long Is Root Canal Treatment

A root canal usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour for a single canal tooth but expect the whole appointment to be around 90 minutes with all the prep and anaesthesia. Molars, which have more canals, can take 90 minutes or more. Premolars take around an hour, while canines and incisors are quicker, usually 45 minutes to an hour. If your case is more complex, you might need two or more visits to complete treatment.

What can you not do after a root canal treatment? 

After a root canal, avoid hot foods and extensive chewing until the numbness wears off. In the following days, stick to soft foods, chew on the opposite side, and keep your head elevated when sleeping. Continue taking prescribed painkillers if needed and attend follow-up dental appointments to ensure proper healing.

Does A Root Canal Procedure Hurt? 

Modern root canal procedures are designed to be comfortable using local anaesthesia. While some pressure may be felt, significant pain is rare. Post-procedure, mild sensitivity can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Long-term, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits ensure tooth health and prevent future issues.

Will My Dentist Put Me To Sleep During Root Canal Treatment?

The procedure is called Sedation, and options vary based on procedure complexity and patient needs: 

  1. Minimal Sedation: Uses mild sedatives like Valium or Nitrous Oxide, allowing patients to leave immediately after treatment.
  2. Moderate Sedation: Patients are sedated but conscious, requiring a short recovery period post-procedure to ensure safety.
  3. Deep Sedation: Involves full unconsciousness and requires post-procedure assistance due to lingering sedative effects.

After sedation, caution is advised to prevent injury, and painkillers may be needed as the sedative wears off. 

Hear from our Patients

Do you require another treatment?

If you are affected by decay or plaque, we may suggest that you see a hygienist to help improve your overall oral health. You may also need to have a filling or a crown after a root canal treatment to seal the tooth.

If you are in a lot of pain and require root canal treatment quickly, we offer an emergency service.

Contact the team at Gentle Dental Care to discuss root canal treatment further. We can offer flexible appointments to suit everyone. Book in for a free consultation and let’s see how we can be of assistance.

Call us: 020 3925 3846

With dental practices in Croydon and Bromley and a team of expert clinicians, we have the expertise to ensure that your visit to the dentist is one that you will enjoy.

Gentle Dental Care – it is who we are, and what we do