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Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes the tissues inside a tooth can become infected through decay, trauma, or gum disease. Root canal treatment (RCT), also known as Endodontic treatment, is the cleaning, disinfecting and filling of the roots of a tooth. It is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected.

Causes of root canal infection
Causes of root canal infection

The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes; deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks.

If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess which can be extremely painful. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the tooth may need to be taken out.

We provide root canal treatment and re-root canal treatment including apicectomies (surgery on the root tip) from previous root canal treatment that has failed. After root canal treatment, a crown or other restoration is usually placed to protect the tooth.

How do I know if I need Root Canal Treatment?

Endodontic Treatment or Root Canal Treatment is necessary when the Pulp becomes inflamed or infected.  If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner your tooth can be treated, the better the outcome will likely be.

Persistent pain 
Persistent tooth pain is one of the signs that you may have an infected or dead tooth requiring RCT. The pain in your tooth might be constant or it might go away but always comes back. You may feel the pain deep in your tooth or you may feel the pain referred to your face, jaw, or your other teeth.

Sensitivity to hot and cold 
Your tooth might hurt when you eat warm food or have a hot drink. Or your tooth feels sensitive when you eat ice cream or have an icy-cold drink.

You can have sensitivity to hot and cold and not necessarily need root canal treatment. However, if the pain lingers long after the drink or food, then the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth could be infected or damaged.

Red, Swollen gums or Abscess (Gum Boil/Pimple) 
Your gums might be swollen near the painful tooth. There might be an abscess in the gum where the tip of your tooth is. This abscess might be oozing pus that gives an unpleasant taste or smell.

Pain when you eat or touch the tooth 
Nerve damage can cause your tooth to be sensitive to touch or when you eat. The tooth may become hypersensitive and lingering sensitivity.

A broken/chipped or cracked tooth 
A tooth can crack due to trauma such as an accident from contact sports, or by biting on something hard. Or it could be due to a heavily decayed dying tooth which has weaken and therefore more prone to fracture. Bacteria can seep into the tooth and spread to the pulp causing an infection. Even if the trauma does not cause a chip or crack, the injury could be enough to cause damage to the pulp and require root canal treatment.

Tooth discolouration 
Damage and infection in the pulp can cause the tooth to discolour. The lack of blood supply can cause the tooth to die and appear greyish in colour. There could be other reasons why teeth discolour and this is not necessarily an indication for root canal treatment.

Tooth mobility 
An infected tooth can become loose due to reduced bone density that supports the tooth.

No Symptoms 
You may not experience any of these symptoms but may still need Root Canal Treatment (Elective Endodontics) to save the tooth. You might have a chronic infection which can be visible on an x-ray or it may be required as part of the restoration of a severely broken-down tooth.

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    The White House Dental Surgery
    2 Roding View, Buckhurst Hill,
    Essex, IG9 6AQ.
    020 8504 9393