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What Is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a procedure used to treat teeth that have become infected by bacteria right within the centre of a tooth (the root canal system).

Root canal treatment is also called endodontics.

Root canal treatment is available here at our Dental clinic in Exeter.

Why Do I Need Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth.

These bacteria invade the tooth when:

  • Tooth decay occurs
  • Fillings leak
  • Teeth are damaged by trauma, such as a fall

Root canal treatments are a way of retaining teeth that would otherwise have to be extracted. The purpose of the root canal procedure is to rid a tooth of infection.

Once the bacteria is all cleared, the tooth is then sealed with a filling or crown to prevent infection from reoccurring.

The root of a tooth isn’t invisible in the mouth. It sits below the visible part of the tooth – and anchors the tooth in position. The canal system, of which a single tooth can have more than one, contains dental pulp, which consists of soft tissue, nerves and blood vessels.

If bacteria infects the pulp, it will begin to die and make your tooth painful. Additionally, over time, your tooth could darken in colour and, in serious cases, a dental abscess may form. During the early stages of infection, pain may be minimal, or even non existent, but the longer you leave the infection to spread through the root canal system, the more painful it will become.

Left unattended, the bacterial infection can spread to a degree that the tooth can’t be saved and will need to be removed. Treating an infecting root canal system to save the tooth is much preferable to just having it removed because it will maintain your natural smile and won’t affect your sensation, chewing and biting force.

The success rate for root canal treatment is very high and a treated tooth will normally survive for years afterwards. As you’ll be given a local anaesthetic, root canal treatment, which typically involves 2-3 visits to our dental clinic, shouldn’t be any more painful or uncomfortable than having a filling.

To find out more about root canal treatment, or to book an appointment at our dental clinic in Exeter, call 01392 879 397, email admin@dental397.com or contact us.

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