Root Canal & Endodontics

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Root Canal

What is root canal treatment? Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury.

Why is root canal treatment needed? 

If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth.  This may eventually lead to an abscess.

If root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

Does it hurt?
No.  A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

What does it involve? 

The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal.  The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. We use a speciliast microscope for all our Root Canal procedures. 

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure.  Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentist.

At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed.  Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time.  The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling.  A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.

What will my tooth look like after treatment?  

In the past, a root filled tooth would often darken after treatment.  However, with modern techniques this does not usually happen.  If there is any discolouration, there are several treatments available to restore the natural appearance.

Root canal treatment is usually very successful.  However, if the infection comes back the treatment can be repeated.

What if I don’t have the treatment?
The alternative is to have the tooth out.  Once the pulp is destroyed, it can’t heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth.

Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

Will the tooth be safe after treatment?
Yes.  However, it is better to restore the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.

Where can this treatment be carried out?
Root canal treatment is a routine dental procedure, which your dentist will be happy to do for you.

What about aftercare?
Root-treated teeth should be treated just the same as any other tooth.  Remember to clean your teeth at least once a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste.  Cut down on sugary snacks, and keep them only to mealtimes if possible.  See your dentist for regular check-ups.

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When we think of teeth, we most often picture the hard, pearly-white parts that brighten up the smile. But there’s much more to our teeth than what’s visible on the surface. Deep inside of each one lies a network of tiny, cavern-like passages called canals, which contain sensitive living tissue, including blood vessels and nerves. Treating the soft tissue inside the tooth, also called the pulp, is the primary concern of endodontists (“endo” = inside, “odont” = tooth).

In our everyday experience, we’re not usually aware of these minute canals, which extend from below the chewing surfaces through the roots of the teeth. But when something goes wrong with them, chances are we will know about it right away: Inflammation and pain in the tooth’s pulp can be quite severe. Getting relief from the pain and controlling an infection in the pulp tissue may require root canal therapy, or another treatment of the tooth’s soft tissue. These procedures, along with many others, are frequently performed by endodontists.

Root Canal Specialists

To become an endodontist, a candidate must first graduate from an accredited dental school, and then successfully complete two to three years of postgraduate training in this special practice area. Endodontists must also be licensed in the state where they practice, and must remain current with continuing education requirements.

Endodontists aren’t the only dentists who can perform pulp treatments such as root canals. However, because their practice is limited to treating the soft tissues of the tooth, they do so more frequently than other dentists. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), these specialists perform an average of 25 root canal treatments per week, as opposed to less than two per week for general dentists. This gives them a tremendous amount of clinical experience to draw from.

The offices of many endodontists are also equipped with state-of-the-art dental technology. Advanced devices such as operating microscopes, digital imaging systems, ultrasonic instruments and fiber optics allow them to treat their patients efficiently and comfortably. Because, after all, who wants to spend more time in the chair than necessary?

There’s no need to be worried if your dentist or endodontist prescribes a root canal procedure to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. Millions of teeth are treated and saved this way every year, relieving pain and making teeth healthy again.

As a Specialist Endodontist, Jane Bracken is highly experienced in making this treatment safe, effective and comfortable. The root canal treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth. During the treatment, the inflamed or infected soft tissue inside the tooth is removed carefully, and the inside of the tooth is gently cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed.

At Bracken Barrett, we practice the most advanced and modern of root canal treatments, which can be relatively painless and extremely effective. Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive and invasive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. Saving the natural tooth with root canal has many advantages which include efficient chewing, normal biting force and sensation, maintaining a natural appearance and protecting your other teeth from excessive wear. Jane Bracken is proud to be a dental phobia-certified dentist, and our clinics can also offer sedation for patients who may be anxious about dental treatment.

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What our patients say…

“I had previously had referrals to Jane Bracken for more specialist dental work and found her to be excellent.  I had lost confidence in my previous and long term dentist and Jane seemed the ideal choice.  That has so far proved to be the right decision.  Not only has Jane dealt with some current issues but I had an urgent need to have a tooth repaired when a filling fell off as I was going on holiday two days later and I was able to see Emma Casson.  She too was excellent and the repair looks better than the original tooth!”

“I have been attending Bracken Barrett & Associates for routine dental checks for a number of years and have always had absolute faith and trust in the team.    Up until recently, however, I have not required any significant dental treatment although this morning I attended for root canal treatment.   Surprisingly I was very nervous which I think was due to the fact of not knowing what to expect, what the procedure consisted of and the overall treatment plan, however, Dr Jane Bracken and Danny were absolutely wonderful and completely reassured me and continually explained the process step by step.   I was genuinely surprised once the treatment was over to the extent that I actually really questioned what I had felt so worried beforehand!”

“Very friendly and professional. I was a little nervous about the root canal treatment as it is supposedly awful BUT it was an absolute breeze. Completely painless. Jane was very reassuring and talked through the process making me feel very comfortable throughout”

“As the type of work that  was required was more specialist (root canal) I wanted an expert to assist  my regular long term dentist . He recommended Jane as the best on the Island for the work. I was very happy with the treatment, results and after care Jane has given me”

Jane Bracken
Jane BrackenDentist
MSc BDS (Manc)
Specialist in Endodontics
GDC 67133