Frequently Asked Questions

Can all teeth be root canal treated?

Occasionally a tooth cannot be saved. Endodontic treatment can be performed only if the root canals are accessible and can be adequately cleaned and sealed. The tooth must also have sufficient bone support. We will discuss the overall prognosis of the tooth with you at the time of consultation/treatment.

Is root canal treatment painful?

No, root canal treatment is usually painless. However, it is not uncommon to have some discomfort (usually mild) for a few days after the treatment has been completed. This can usually be controlled with painkillers which may be bought over the counter at your local chemist. Occasionally, a very small proportion of patients may experience more pronounced pain (possibly accompanied by some swelling) after the treatment. This is known as a ‘flare-up’ and will usually resolve within a few days.

What are the alternatives to root canal treatment?

The alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth. Loss of a tooth may create a functional or aesthetic problem. Replacing the lost tooth may involve the provision of a prosthetic replacement such as a denture, bridge or dental implant (the costs of these options are variable).

How long will the treatment take?

On average most treatment sessions will be approximately 1.5 to 2 hours long. At all times we will ensure your treatment experience is as comfortable as possible.

How many treatment visits will I need?

With modern equipment and techniques a large proportion of cases can be completed in a single visit. Almost all first time treatments can be completed in a single visit. More complicated treatments (for example, such as root canal retreatment), may require two or more visits.

Can the treatment fail?

Endodontic treatment can have success rates of up to 90%. Problems can occur if the tooth develops decay or the restoration on the tooth fails, or on occasions despite good treatment the tooth may not heal as expected. Further endodontic treatment or surgery may be carried out if appropriate. A tooth that develops a crack can also be a cause of failure and may result in loss of the tooth.

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