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Everything you wanted to know about root canal treatment

Where is the root canal of the tooth?

A tooth consists of enamel, which is the hard outer coating of the tooth, the first protective layer. Then comes the dentine, which is a softer material that makes up most of the tooth and also supports the enamel. The root of the tooth is coated by the cementum, which is a hard material protecting the root. In the centre of the tooth, there is the dental pulp, which is a soft tissue. The root canal system of the tooth is located the end of the root and the crown of the tooth, including the dental pulp. Some teeth can have more root canal systems.

What is root canal infection?

If this root canal system is infected this will eventually lead to the cessation of the pulp. The bacteria then will spread and multiply. This can lead to pain and swelling at the root of the tooth and spreading of the bacteria to other parts of the body.

How can the infection be treated?

During the root treatment essentially the bacteria is being removed by the removal of the pulp, then the root canal system is being cleaned, and the tooth is then sealed to prevent bacteria entering the root canal system again. Usually, the swelling or pain will pass naturally as the bacteria has been removed.

Our dentists provide pain-free root canal treatment thanks to improvements in dentistry during the past years and to local anaesthesia. 

In most cases root canal treatment is successful and the tooth is restored and survives up to 10 years after the treatment. It is essential to take good care of your treated tooth and to avoid biting on hard foods after the treatment. As always, good oral hygiene, avoiding sugary foods and smoking, helps to prevent further treatment.


Is root treatment available on NHS & how much does it cost?

This dental treatment is part of general dentistry and is available under the NHS. The dentist will use local anaesthetic to remove the infected pulp, clean the root canals and fill them to prevent further infection. It is normal to experience some tenderness once the local anaesthetic has worn off but this will subside. The cost of root canal treatment on a posterior tooth ranges between £41.96 and £87.80. Your dentist will provide you with a written estimate before the treatment, so there will be no surprises. The treatment procedure and the care necessary after the treatment will be explained to you in the surgery as well.

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