Root canal therapy (or endodontics) at Longborough is carried out by our Endodontist Mr William Scott BDS MSc MClinDent who has a special interest in the subject and limits his practice to this one type of dentistry.
The inside of teeth contains live tissue, blood vessels and nerves (called the pulp). Sometimes this live tissue can die. This can happen as a consequence of many different things such as deep tooth decay, trauma, gum disease or a habit such as clenching or grinding. The space can then rapidly become infected with bacteria and pus can spread to the jaw bone. Unfortunately, once this abscess forms the only way to treat it is with a root canal treatment. Antibiotics are only a stop gap to reduce symptoms and never solve the problem completely.
Signs of pulp damage may include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling, tenderness of the overlying gums or a bad taste in the mouth. On the other hand, amazingly, there may be no symptoms at all except for the presence of the abscess showing up on an x-ray. You should never be tempted to leave this untreated as it can grow in size, eventually causing pain, swelling and loss of the tooth supporting bone until your tooth cannot be saved at all.
The root canal system of teeth, especially in molars, is often complex and difficult to clean well so the best person to do a root canal treatment is a dentist who is very experienced in this type of treatment. This is why many general dentists prefer to refer these cases to a dentist who has the special training, high tech specialised equipment like a microscope and the experience to do root canal treatment to a very high standard.
Root canal treatment usually requires several appointments and often your tooth will then need a crown. However, the treatment has an undeserved reputation of being painful. When patients have root canal treatment with Dr. Scott it is not uncommon for them to fall asleep rather than experience pain. Whilst Dr. Scott will do his best to keep you entertained with his engaging chatter, to do the treatment well does take some time, so boredom will often be the most common side effect!
To find out more download our comprehensive leaflet about root canal treatment at Longborough