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What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment for an Infected Tooth at a London Dental Practice?


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Severe tooth decay, gum disease and trauma are all possible catalysts for a tooth to become infected, as they allow bacteria to slip between the gum and tooth and enter the ‘pulp chamber’. This is the hollow space within a tooth that holds nerves, arteries and veins: so if the pulp chamber becomes infected, you’ll know about it. That’s why root canals are vital to the treatment of tooth infections.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Your London dentist will prescribe a root canal on assessment of your symptoms and an examination. Symptoms include an unremitting toothache, tender, swollen gums and darkened or blackened teeth at the site of physical trauma. If you need a root canal, a dark area will also appear on a dental x-ray; however, this is an indication of the decreased bone density as a result of the infection.

What is the procedure of a root canal?

Root canals are usually carried out over two appointments. In the first, the gum and tooth are numbed before the dentist drills a hole into the tooth in order to access the pulp chamber. The dentist will then use x-rays and specialist cleaning equipment to scour the pulp chamber of bacteria and other debris. A temporary filling is then inserted and retained until the next appointment. Here, the tooth must again be numbed and drilled. After checking that the canal is still free from bacteria and dirt, your dentist will then fill them with gutta-percha (a type of latex renowned for its unreactive qualities) and cover the tooth with a permanent filling.

When a root canal is successful, its benefits can last a lifetime. That said, every time a root canal has to be performed on the same tooth, its possible effectiveness decreases. As such, it is imperative that you look after these teeth so as not to incur a repeat infection.


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