Save natural teeth from infection and extraction

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontics, involves removing infected pulp tissues from the innermost part of the tooth. This prevents the infection from spreading any further and affecting your other healthy teeth, and can help save a tooth that may otherwise have to be extracted. At Portlethen Dental, we prioritise your oral health, and always aim to prevent unnecessary treatment where possible.

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Why do I need root canal treatment?

The pulp inside your tooth is made up of nerves and blood vessels, and extends from the crown to the tips of the root.

It can become infected due to decay, a deep filling or trauma to the tooth, and cause you pain, tenderness and swelling which can be debilitating. Root canal treatment removes the source of infection entirely, stopping it spreading further round your mouth and eliminating the pain it is causing you. Saving your natural tooth is always the best option, preventing further issues and removing the costs involved in replacing missing teeth.

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What does root canal treatment involve?

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Root canal treatment usually requires several appointments, depending on which type of tooth is being treated. Between appointments, your tooth will be covered and temporarily restored.

Initially, we take an x-ray to check the root canals in your affected tooth and see if there are any other signs of infection in the surrounding bone. This aids our diagnosis and treatment planning for your particular case.

We place a rubber sheet around the tooth to keep it dry and remove the infected pulp from your tooth, using local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort. We flush the root canals with an antibacterial solution to clean them.

We shape the root canals using tiny instruments and clean them again to remove any debris. We then fill the canals with a rubber compound material to seal them and prevent any bacteria from entering.

The filled root canal is sealed with a permanent filling. In some cases, the tooth may need a crown fitted to help restore tooth shape and functionality.

Frequently asked questions

  • Root canal treatment has a reputation for being painful, but this is often not the case. Many patients report that the procedure is nowhere near as painful as they imagined, and liken it to the level of discomfort experienced when having a standard filling. We use local anaesthetic to minimise your discomfort and take a gentle approach to help you feel at ease before we begin.

  • Once your root canal treatment is complete, you should treat the affected tooth just like your other natural teeth once more. Make sure you brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day, using interdental brushes to get to tricky places in your mouth. It is also important to visit your dentist for regular check ups, so they can make sure your tooth is remaining problem free.

  • The only alternative to root canal treatment is to have your infected tooth taken out, thus removing the infection and any risk of it spreading. We see this as a last resort, as having your natural teeth extracted is a drastic and permanent step. It could lead to issues with the alignment and positions of your remaining teeth, and incur further costs associated with filling the gap in your smile.

  • If looked after properly, with regular brushing and flossing, your root canal treated tooth should stay trouble-free and provide a long lasting repair. Even though the pulp has been removed, the tooth will stay intact because the canals have been sealed to prevent re-infection. Regular check-ups are also recommended so any problems can be detected early.

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