01206 574 011
3 The Avenue, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3PA


At the Art of Dentistry we are very pleased to accept referrals for, endodontics (otherwise known as root canal treatment).

The need for a root canal treatment can often be a scary thought for many people. In the past it has often been considered a lengthy, involved and painful process. This can sometimes cause a patient to ignore the problem- hoping that it will go away.

Unfortunately this is not the case. Putting off a root canal could potentially result in further problems- including a painful gum abscess or loss of the tooth completely.

Today, a root canal treatment is virtually painless. In fact, it’s very likely the pain caused by your infected tooth is a lot worse! Surgery is generally comfortable and can be performed more quickly than ever before by our specialist Endodontists.

At the Art of Dentistry, we regularly carry out around root canal treatment. Over 90% of our procedures are successful, allowing us to save a natural tooth- whereas it would otherwise likely be lost.

If the thought of your root canal treatment makes you nervous then please speak to us. Our dedicated anaesthetist can offer sedation if required.

We will always take into account your fears and, however we can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed, we will do our best.

Why do I need a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is required as a result of an infection in the dental pulp. An infection can arise for a number of reasons, normally due to significant decay, a faulty or loose crown, damage to the tooth or repeated and large or deep fillings.

Your tooth is made of several layers. These include the hard outer enamel, a softer dentine just underneath this, the cementum layer that sits above the roots and the dental pulp deep in the centre.

As the dental pulp is directly connected to the root of the tooth this means the most common symptoms of an infection include pain, swelling in the gum and an increase in sensitivity to hot and cold. You may also notice pain when eating. A tooth can also discolour when the pulp is infected.

Although it is often an unnerving thought, a root canal treatment can successfully help to restore function and appearance to a tooth for the long-term. A root canal filling is often a more cost effective option compared to tooth extraction or a dental bridge or implant.

The need for a root canal will be identified with the use of an x-ray which allows us to see inside the root of your tooth.

What is involved in a root canal treatment?

The treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic to ensure your comfort. Where a decision has been made to proceed with root canal treatment, the procedure will involve:

  • Placement of ‘Rubber Dam’ (an isolation technique) that enables the tooth to be kept dry and prevents it from becoming infected from your saliva.
  • Placement of a metal band around the tooth to protect it, if there is no pre-existing crown. The area around a tooth therefore requires additional care in-home cleaning.
  • Entry to the centre of the tooth (root canals) by drilling through the tooth, filling or crown. If the filling or crown is defective it may need to be removed and replaced with a temporary material.
  • Using specialised instruments to prepare the root canals for washing.
  • Taking x-ray pictures to check the length of the root canals and the quality of root filling.
  • Use of disinfectants to wash the root canals.
  • Dressing of the tooth with a medicament between appointments.
  • Placement of a root filling material to prevent the root canals from becoming re-infected.
  • A microscope may be used to make treatment easier.
  • When filled, your tooth will be sealed with a crown or filling to return it to full function.

Can’t you just remove the tooth?

Although it might seem an easier and more tempting option to simply remove the tooth it’s really not the best idea- unless there really is no other choice.

  • Gaps between the teeth can trap bacteria and food pieces resulting in bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
  • All of your teeth sit together keeping the rest in place. You may find that your remaining teeth move and twist or that gaps start to appear.
  • Depending on where it is, a missing tooth can cause trouble when chewing meaning that you start to avoid certain foods.
  • Speech can be affected- as can your self-esteem if you have several missing teeth- or if they are very visible.

How to look after your teeth following a root canal

Whilst you are undergoing treatment and immediately afterwards be careful not to bite down too hard on the tooth so that you don’t damage it.

  • If you do have any pain a general painkiller should help. Swelling can be reduced with a cold compress.
  • Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day for at least 3 minutes. Be careful not to eat and drink too much sugar and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
  • A root canal filling should last for many years with good care and maintenance.

I think I might need a root canal treatment

If you are in pain, or worried that you may have an infection in your tooth, please don’t be tempted to ignore the problem in the hope it will go away.

Call us today to book an appointment.