Gentle root canal therapy in Clapham
As experienced dentists, we have seen the look on many patient’s faces as they are told that they need root canal therapy to save an infected tooth. Given its undeserved reputation for being extremely painful, this is hardly surprising.
The truth though, is that that this is largely a myth; quite likely originating from the time before x-rays were widely used to check, in advance, if any abscesses were present. There is little doubt that drilling into a tooth with an abscess would be excruciating indeed!
Thankfully, nowadays, modern dental practices are fully equipped with x-ray machinery, and, prior to any root canal procedure being carried out, x-rays will be taken to check for abscesses. Should one be found, this is usually treated with antibiotics and the procedure postponed until the abscess is healed. You can also feel assured that the experienced team at our Clapham practice will ensure that you are made as comfortable as possible during the procedure and we offer a range of support services for patients who are anxious about their dental procedures too. If you suffer with anxiety and are due to have root canal treatment, please let us know so that we can help you through the procedure.
Why root canal?
Root canal therapy is needed when the canals leading into the root of the tooth become infected. As this is the area where not only tiny blood vessels, but the nerves are stored, you can imagine, this can be very painful indeed. Unfortunately, once the core of the tooth is infected (often via bacteria that has entered via a cracked or decayed tooth), it will usually not recover, even through antibiotic treatment, and the only two options available are root canal treatment or extraction.
Although, in some cases, we may suggest extraction to be the better option, perhaps replacing the tooth with a dental implant or bridge; in general we would prefer to save a natural tooth for as long as it is comfortable and functional and causes no major problems for the patient.
In order to save a tooth where the root canals have been affected, the infected material needs to removed. Following a local anaesthetic, the top of the tooth is removed to allow access to the canals. The infected material is then removed from this and the hollow canals thoroughly cleaned with an antibacterial solution. The canal is then filled with a special filling called gutta percha, and, finally, a dental crown is added to the top to complete it and give it functional strength.
If you are in need of endodontic care and have any concerns about this treatment, please call the Clapham Confidental Clinic on 020 7801 9060 to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced dentists.