Canterbury House Dental Implant Centre The Mews Dental Practice

Root Canal Treatment

Endodontic, also referred to as root canal treatment, is a way of saving a tooth that would otherwise have to be extracted. It often becomes necessary in teeth which have been damaged by deep decay, cracks or that have suffered trauma. These events will often lead to irreversible damage to the pulp of the tooth or to an infection starting in the tooth.

Why is root canal treatment needed?

Signs that a tooth may require endodontic treatment include any combination of pain, sensitivity to hot or cold (especially if this is prolonged), swelling of the adjacent gum, discharge from the gum next to the tooth or discolouration of the tooth. However, sometimes a tooth requires root canal treatment despite having no symptoms.

Endodontic treatment saves the tooth by removing the damaged pulp of the tooth. Then, using an operating microscope, carefully cleaning and shaping the complex spaces of the root canals inside the tooth and finally sealing the root canal space with the root filling material.


David Brown

Based in Canterbury House, David Brown has a special interest in the field of endodontics and is able to accept referrals from other dentists in the Practice as well as other local dentists.

David qualified from the University of Leeds with honours in 1986, followed  by three years working in oral surgery in hospitals in Leeds, Southampton and North  Wales. Since then he has worked in general practice in the New Forest and Winchester.

David has an MSc in endodontology and is a member of the British Endodontic Society. With David's enthusiasm for endodontics and the acquisition at Canterbury House of a  Kaps operating microscope with LED light source to accompany our digital  X-Ray system, ultrasonic instrumentation, nickel/titanium rotary  instrumentation, apex locators and the latest thermoplastic filling  techniques, the scope for providing complex endodontic treatments and re-treatments has increased considerably.


Patient Referrals

We accept referrals for endodontic treatment and are equipped with an operating microscope. All treatment is carried out under rubber dam with appropriate rotary Nickel Titanium instrumentation. Thermoplastic three dimensional obturation of the canal is provided with continuous wave or warm vertical obturation techniques utilising System B/Obtura or B&L alpha/beta technology. Biocompatable MTA or Biodentine techniques are available when necessary for more complex cases.

Patients can contact the practice directly for appointments without a referral, although if your own dentist has already provided some treatment, or has very recent X-rays, a referral is always very helpful.

If you would like to refer a patient for Root Canal Treatment, call us on 01590 679888 or complete our contact form.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does it involve?

The aim of the treatment is to remove all infected material from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection.

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. When possible we will complete the treatment in one visit, although more than one visit may be required. Very often we will not be able to make a final decision on the number of visits until the root canal has been accessed on the first treatment visit. 

First, the infected pulp is removed. Then the root canal is cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. This is a meticulous microsurgical procedure which is significantly aided with the use of the operating microscope. If the canals are not sufficiently disinfected at this stage, a special antiseptic treatment is placed in the tooth and left for a period of one to two weeks.

Once we are satisfied the tooth is fully disinfected, the root filling can be placed.

What is the success rate for endodontic treatment?

Root canal treatment is usually very successful. Treatment using up-to-date modern techniques caries a high success rate, up to 90%. The success rate may be reduced by a multitude of factors including (but not limited to) your own general health, the specific species of bacteria that may be present in the tooth, the shape and branching pattern of the root canals, presence of fractures (sometimes completely hidden) inside the tooth, how the tooth is repaired after root canal treatment and the extent of the infection. The predictability of treatment may be reduced if technical standards are not maintained. However, if further disease subsequently develops, root canal treatment can in certain circumstances be repeated.

What if I don’t have the treatment?

The only alternative is to leave the tooth and monitor it (which usually leads to further problems and infections) or have the tooth extracted. However, if your own tooth is repairable, it is almost always best to have it root treated and repaired rather than consider its extraction and subsequent replacement with a false tooth (denture, bridge or implant).

Are there any risks to having the treatment?

If the tooth has a crown on it, the crown will need to be removed or the access to the root canals prepared through the crown. In either case there is a risk of porcelain fracturing from it which may necessitate its replacement.

The instruments used in root canal treatment are extremely small and delicate. Some of our files have tip diameters as low as 0.06mm! A brand new set of files is used for each case and they are made from Nickel Titanium alloys which are very flexible. Despite this, fractures do occasionaly occur. If so, retrieval of the fragment may be possible. If it is not retrievable, it may be possible to incorporate it into the root filling inside your tooth. In these cases, success rates are reduced.

As we have to use strong disinfectants and very small instruments, we place a rubber shield over your tooth to prevent them inadvertently getting into your mouth. This has the added benefits of keeping your saliva and its associated bacteria out of your tooth and making the procedure much easier and more comfortable for you.

Will the tooth be safe after treatment?

Yes, immediately after root canal treatment a hard wearing filling is placed in the tooth. However, in most cases, the tooth is much stronger if it also has a crown placed on it. This has the added benefit of significantly improving the success rate for the underlying root canal treatment.

Where will this treatment be carried out?

Most dentists are happy to provide certain root canal treatments. Cases that have complex multiple roots, have very fine root canals, involve trauma, have highly curved root canals or involve resorptions are often referred to practitioners with a particular interest in root canal treatment who are equipped with appropriate equipment and post-graduate training.

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 its natural appearance.

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.

Does it hurt?

No. Using modern local anaesthetic techniques it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.