At SDS our Restorative Consultants are all registered as Specialist Endodontists (Root Canal Specialists). This means they can complete both simple and complex cases as required.
Evidence confirms that root canal treatment carried out by a specialist achieves a significantly improved success rate compared to a general dentist.
Specialist treatment is particularly valuable if a previously root canal treated tooth re-develops an infection and needs to be redone.
Our enhanced skills and specialist equipment allows us to offer you the best possible outcome.
What is Root Canal Treatment (RCT)?
Root Canal treatment (RCT) is when the pulp cavity and root canal become infected and needs to be removed. The infected pulp cavity tissue can be caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and have managed to make their way into your tooth, either by:
Repeated dental treatment on tooth
Deep cracks in the tooth
What happens during a Root Canal Treatment?
Once the tooth has been identified that it requires a root canal treatment then you would require generally 2 appointments under local anaesthesia to have the treatment completed. We use a specialised microscope to help us perform the best treatment for you.
Local anaesthetic for this procedure means that it should not be painful, and should be no more unpleasant than having a filling.
During these appointments, the infected tissue will be removed using specialised small files. The inside of the root canal is then cleaned, disinfected and shaped with these files. This removes all the bacteria from the inside of the tooth.
Once the root canal has been completely cleared of all bacteria, the tooth will then be filled with a rubber like material called gutta-percha.
A filling would then need to be placed on top of the gutta-percha. In back teeth a crown is ideally recommended to prevent fracture.
What is Root Canal Re-Treatment (Re-RCT)?
Root Canal Re-treatment (Re-RCT) is when a previously root canal treated tooth becomes re-infected. Similar to the standard root canal treatment this may be caused by either:
Unsuccessful root canal treatment
Deep cracks in the tooth
The above would allow bacteria to gain access back into the root canal which can cause the previous root canal treatment to fail.
If this happens you will then have a choice of two options to resolve the problem, either extraction or root canal re-treatment. At SDS we always aim to save natural teeth so we would recommend Re-RCT as your first choice where appropriate.
Re-RCT is a similar procedure to standard RCT, except instead of removing just the infected tissue, the specialist would need to remove the previous filling material (gutta-percha), clean, disinfect and shape the tooth again.
Due to the complex nature of Re-RCT, it may take 2-3 appointments under local anaesthetic to complete the procedure.
Once the tooth is completely cleared of bacteria and old filling material, the specialist will then re-fill the canal with new gutta-percha material. A filling would then need to be placed, ideally followed by a crown to be completed.
What happens after Root Canal Treatment?
You may require over the counter painkillers for a few days after treatment has been completed. The tooth should not feel painful but the area may feel slightly sensitive, just because we have been working on it.
In order to give your root filled tooth the best chance, we would recommend that the tooth is prepared for a crown (particularly a molar or a premolar tooth). This would ensure that the tooth is fully protected and prevent fracture of the tooth that may necessitate extraction of other successfully treated teeth.
This patient had root canal treatment and a replacement crown from our experienced dentists.
To see more before and afters like this, visit our Smile Gallery.
Meet Our Experts
Dr Shakeel Shahdad
Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and Specialist in Periodontics, Endodontics, and Prosthodontics
Dr Deborah Bomfim
Consultant Specialist and Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry