Ask a dentist: what is root canal therapy and why do I need it?

Your dentist will recommend root canal therapy if the nerve or pulp at the centre of your tooth becomes infected. At Danny De Villiers Dentist in Weybridge, we have carried out scores of successful root canal procedures, and in the process helped countless patients to retain their natural teeth.
Root canal therapyroot-canal-therapy is a procedure that seems to make many patients anxious. However, when carried out by a skilled and caring dentist, it is nothing to be scared of, and is often essential in preserving your tooth: without it, the tooth may have to be extracted.
The pulp or nerve at the centre of the tooth can become infected through dental decay or through injury to the teeth. Even a small chip or crack in the tooth can lead to an infection developing, which is why it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible even for minor cracks and chips. We offer emergency dental appointments at our Weybridge practice, and encourage all patients who have experienced trauma to the teeth or mouth to come in and see us as soon as they can.
What the procedure involves
If the tooth becomes infected, the first symptom is often pain, with or without a dental abscess (a painful swelling). When your dentist decides you need root canal therapy, they will use special instruments to carefully clean out the root canal system, removing all traces of infection.
This is a skilled and delicate procedure, so usually requires more than one appointment. Contrary to popular belief, it should feel no different to having a standard filling, although the appointment will be longer. At our Weybridge practice we are proud to practice pain free dentistry, so with local anaesthetic you should experience no discomfort.
Your tooth will be temporarily filled and you will be called back for a second appointment to check all infection has cleared before it is permanently filled. A crown may be added to give your tooth additional strength.