Root Canal Treatment

What is a root canal?

It is the blood and nerve supply, which runs along the centre of the tooth down to the tip of the root (also known as pulp).

What is root canal treatment?

Decay or a blow to a tooth can lead to infection of the root canal of a tooth. The cleaning and filling of an infected root canal is root canal treatment.

What happens if I don't root canal treat a tooth?

If the tooth is infected the infection usually spreads resulting in a potentially dangerous swelling and loss of the tooth.

Does it hurt?

No. A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done. Sometimes it can be sore afterwards because of infection but antibiotics usually resolve this problem.

Can I claim for any of the cost?

Yes, up to 20% of the cost can be claimed back from the taxman. We will fill out the tax form for you at the end of treatment.

Will I need a crown afterwards?

It depends on how weak the tooth is. We generally advise that back teeth be crowned after root canal treatment. If you don't crown a root canal treated back tooth, it has a 50% chance of breaking within 3 years.

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 the tooth can be whitened, or crowned.

How successful is root canal treatment?

Very successful, the infection subsides 9 times out of 10. In 1 in 10 cases the root canal treatment has to be repeated or the tooth extracted.


Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure that take place over two visits.

First Visit: Small hole drilled into tooth and root cleaned out with tiny instruments called files. Temporary filling placed (don't worry if this chips/falls out).

Second Visit: Tooth filled to tip of root with a rubber stopper (like plugging a sink) Rarely one of the thin files can break in the canal and be left to plug the root along with the rubber filling.