Maida Smiles (W. London)

Tel: 020 3974 1777

02 Jun

Root canal treatments explained


When our teeth erupt, they have a living nerve inside them.

This tooth nerve allows blood, coming from very small vessels, to reach the inside of the tooth roots and gives important indications about the temperature of the food we eat or drink.

The tooth nerve allows awareness of potential aggression that can be harmful to the tooth structure. Trauma, excessive biting pressure, extreme temperatures (such as ice cream or boiling tea and coffee), and even sugary or acidic food can trigger a tooth nerve response. The tooth sensitivity we feel from such stimuli is more often than not a protective warning sign coming from the tooth nerve to make us stop what we are doing.

Sometimes, following an injury, the tooth root nerve dies, resulting in infection episodes, also called a dental abscess.

Tooth decay, previous recent or old fillings, and teeth that sustained a trauma can all result in a dead tooth nerve and the need for root canal treatment.

The main goal of a root canal treatment, also called endodontic treatment, is the removal of a damaged nerve from the inside of a tooth. It is a last resort procedure to prevent infection or allow for the healing of infection (i.e. dental abscess) to make it possible to retain the damaged tooth in someone’s mouth. By preventing infection and tooth abscess, a root canal treatment will allow for re-establishing its functions, including mastication, phonetics and aesthetics.

But how long will a root-treated tooth last?

Root-treated teeth are weaker than teeth without a previous root canal treatment.

The root canal treatment per se will implicate tooth structure loss in accessing the nerve. We will explain the process in more detail: root canal treatment involves drilling the tooth at its coronal portion (part of the tooth visible and outside the gum) for access and to permit adequate disinfection of the root canals and the subsequent filling with an inert material. Unfortunately, this procedure also makes the root-treated tooth more brittle and vulnerable to fracture. Thus, the treated tooth with a crown is highly recommended that the treated tooth be protected from any further damage.

This tooth crown can be made of a very resistant material at a dental laboratory to restore tooth integrity. It should be placed as soon as the root canal treatment is completed.

Nowadays, we can achieve the best aesthetic results by making the new tooth blend naturally with the rest of the teeth.