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Root Canal Therapy

image of root canal therapy using an endodontic microscope at Smile Concepts in Solihull, BirminghamAt Smile Concepts, in Solihull, Birmingham, we offer the very latest in Endodontic technology and services.

We are one of very few centres to offer root canal therapy treatment using an "endodontic microscope" to ensure the highest standards of treatment.
Your teeth have a core of blood vessels and nerves at their centre. This living tissue is called the pulp and it's in a space called the root canal. The number of root canals a tooth has varies, depending on how far back the tooth is in your mouth. Your front teeth often just have one root canal, whereas the back teeth may have three or more.
If your tooth’s pulp becomes damaged, the blood vessels may die. This results in a 'dead tooth' and the pulp becomes infected.
There are a number of ways that your tooth's pulp can be damaged. These include:

  • Decay
  • Injury
  • Gum disease

All of these conditions can lead to bacteria getting trapped in your teeth. There is then the possibility that your tooth pulp will become infected, causing blood vessels and nerves to die.

Without treatment, a collection of pus (an abscess) can form at the root tip. This can lead to pain and swelling and may cause damage to the bone around your tooth.
The aim of a root canal treatment is to get rid of the damaged pulp and the bacteria that are causing the infection. It involves removing the dead nerves and blood vessels from the centre of your tooth.

This is done by drilling a hole through the top of your tooth to the root canal and removing the dead tissue. The empty root canal system is then cleaned, filled and a permanent seal is put over the top of your tooth.

The procedure may be carried out over one or two visits. All dentists can carry out root treatments, but many prefer not to carry out more difficult root treatments that may require additional equipment.

Your dentists may refer you to an Endodontist, who specialises in these cases.

Your dentist may not always be able to repair your tooth with root canal treatment. This may be because your tooth is very seriously damaged by decay or injury or if you have gum disease meaning that your tooth isn't well supported. Your dentist may recommend that you have the tooth taken out (extracted) instead.

Your dentist will take an x-ray of the tooth to see whether you need root canal treatment. This can help to show how far any decay has spread, if there is an abscess and how many root canals your tooth has. If you have a dead tooth or one with a severely damaged pulp then root canal treatment may be the only way to repair it. Following root treatment your dentist may recommend that you have a crown placed over the tooth to protect it, however this is not always the case and your dentist will advise you.