Are you apprehensive about root canal treatment?

Fear and apprehension are normally the result of a lack of knowledge about an impending event or experience. At Crofts Dental Practice root canals Essex are only performed after a comprehensive examination and a thorough discussion with you. We explain the reasons why you need the treatment, but we also explain the procedure, duration and the benefits to you. Our experience is that armed with this knowledge and having been given the opportunity to ask questions and allay fears, patients are less scared of the procedure.


What is dental pulp?

Each tooth has a root or roots. Your front teeth normally have one root and your back teeth two or three roots. Each tooth is filled with a pulp medically referred to as endodontium and this provides the material necessary for your teeth to grow and remain healthy, it is found underneath the dentine.

Why would I need root canal treatment?

You might need this treatment if you experience sensitivity with your teeth, severe toothache, sharp pains in your mouth or if you develop a severe infection in your mouth. An accident or sports collision where you have banged your teeth hard against an object may mean a crack  has developed and this is another reason why your tooth pulp may be damaged. Other indications are if you find that when you chew or bite you experience a sharp pain, or suffer sensitivity when drinking hot or cold fluids. Rub your finger over your gums and if you find small pimples on them that is another indication. If you have swollen gums or if your gums appear darker than usual seek dental advice.These can all be urgent signs that there are problems with the dental pulp in a tooth. Treatment of root canals Essex will become necessary when a thorough examination identifies that the dental pulp has been infected by bacteria, as the pulp will slowly begin to die. Dental pulp cannot heal itself and even if the pain subsides over time this may only be an indication that the nerves have died.

The procedure

Removal of the dental pulp is carried out under local anaesthetic and you should feel no pain. Using a dental dam to ensure that the tooth is isolated we will make an opening in the top or crown of the infected tooth. Using a variety of small dental instruments we will clean out all the pulp from the various chambers within your tooth. We will then fill your tooth with a specially formulated dental material which will completely seal the root canals Essex. Usually at this stage a temporary filling is used to block the opening and you will be required to return in a few weeks for the final procedure. On your next visit the temporary filling will be removed and your new crown will be fitted restoring your tooth back to full functionality.

Return to eating and drinking normally

It is recommended to give it a day or two before normal eating and drinking may resume. You can restart your normal oral hygiene routine and your treated tooth will last as long as your other teeth.

What happens during a root canal?

So you want to know what to expect from endodontics? Well, that is not as straightforward as it may seem. Although most procedures can be performed at our clinic, particularly complex cases may be referred on to an endodontic specialist. For the more common treatment of root canals Essex let’s look at the normal steps and likely outcomes.Root Canals Essex

It is very unlikely that an endodontic treatment will be completed in a single visit, but more likely over two. If there is an active infection, there will be a further pause in treatment and antibiotics will be given to resolve the infection before dental work can begin.

The preparation

Endodontics is by definition under the tooth. Our dentist will start with a set of X-rays, so they can see the scope of the problem and prepare accordingly. Most of the time, an anaesthetic is administered unless the infection has destroyed the nerve, leaving the tooth painless.

An oral dam will be created; the rubber barrier isolates the affected tooth and prevents the patient from swallowing debris generated during the procedure.

Cleaning and pulp extraction

The top of the tooth is opened to expose the pulp. From this, the infected pulp is removed via gentle scraping. If any of the abscess beneath the tooth remains it will be drained.

The root bit of the root canal

With the tooth de-pulped, the canal would be visible in a normal tooth; the canal is very narrow, far too narrow to clean and fill.

So a set of files is used to progressively widen the canal. This is not a quick process, it can take two hours and is therefore done in two sessions.

Not all teeth have the same number of roots, but in general, the front teeth have one, molars have two or three and some wisdom teeth have five. The number of roots varies on ethnicity, and the more roots a tooth has, the longer the root canals Essex will take.

To pause any root canals Essex our dentist will place a sterilising solution into the tooth canal and seal the top with a temporary filling. If at any point the signs of an infection reoccur, like a discoloured swelling or a raised temperature, the treatment will be stopped and a course of antibiotics will be prescribed.

Once the tooth is re-sized and fully cleaned, the filling can begin by replacing the removed pulp.

There is a higher risk of breaking a root-filled tooth than an untreated tooth, so depending on how much of your tooth remains our dentist may suggest a crown. If the tooth was very damaged there may not be enough remaining to support a crown; if so, a peg can be placed in the filled root to support a crown.

You should expect the lifespan of a filled tooth to be shorter than natural teeth, but with good oral hygiene eight to ten years is normal.

A filled tooth may darken after filling, this is normal, but you may wish to consider tooth whitening if a front tooth is affected.

Telltale signs that you need root canal therapy

Experiencing severe pain that stems from your teeth is not a sign of a healthy mouth and could be a reaction to an infected or inflamed root canal. Not receiving medical attention for a dental issue of this kind could lead to extensive tooth loss and seriously impair your life.

root-canal-therapyOur dental practice, Crofts Dental Practice, administer endodontic treatments, such as root canals in Essex, daily. We have successfully treated all types of root canal issues, from the most straightforward to complex cases, and are ready to help you!

Is my tooth infected?

There is a notable difference between ordinary toothache and the pain that accompanies an infected root canal; this type of sensation is akin to an intense and consistent throbbing or pressure on your tooth, getting worse over time.

Are root canals in Essex necessary?

Root canals have been coined “tooth-saving surgeries”. Often, to preserve regular teeth, we must perform root canals in Essex.

By not undergoing treatment, your infected root canal can lead to an abscess and the eventual, but avoidable, loss of teeth.

Explaining the anatomy of the tooth

The Greek term “endo” means inside and “odont” means tooth. Put together, “ëndodontics” refers to the study of the inside of your tooth, namely the pulp.

The pulp is the epicentre of your tooth, where all your blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue are found. Dental problems will arise when the pulp becomes infected. The unhealthy pulp must be removed to prevent abscesses from forming and also to save the tooth.

Can a tooth survive without pulp?

The pulp is necessary for developing teeth but has less of a function when your pearly whites are fully formed. In short, yes, they can survive without, as permanent teeth do not need pulp.

What is root canal therapy?

Many regard root canal therapy as a significant procedure, which is painful and expensive, but this is not wholly accurate.

Millions of patients undergo this treatment every year, and while it does save teeth, it is not the ordeal people think it to be.

The procedure occurs in four stages:

  • X-rays are taken to validate whether you need root canal surgery. If you need the treatment, we will discuss your options with you before moving forward with the procedure.
  • On the day of the root canal, we will administer anaesthesia to numb the pain. You may feel slight discomfort during the procedure and some tenderness during recovery once the anaesthesia has worn off.
  • Using endodontic-specific tools, we make an incision on the crown of the tooth. We then remove the infected pulp and give the root canals a thorough cleaning.
  • To prevent re-infection, we fill the space with a biocompatible filler. Where there is extensive decay, we might apply a crown to the damaged part of the tooth.

Is extraction an alternative to root canals?

When faced with severe pain, some patients might turn to extraction, which is not always recommended. The procedure might be effective in eliminating your discomfort and is considered a cheaper option. However, your tooth will have to be replaced with artificial ones to prevent further dental issues down the line, which will be more expensive and time-intensive in the long run.

Entrust our tooth-saving specialist for an emergency root canal surgery.

Are root canals really all that painful?

When it comes to dental treatments, there are a few that seem to strike fear into the hearts of patients, and one with a reputation for pain is the root canal. Just the words can make grown men faint and yet there really is no need for fear, because this minor bit of dental surgery can help you hang onto your teeth for many years, instead of losing them to infection.

Root Canals in EssexPulp fact

The tooth is made up of 3 layers. On the outside is the hard, protective layer called enamel. This stops bad things getting in and also acts as a chewing or biting surface.

Inside that is a softer, more yellow layer called dentin, and inside that is the soft pulp of the tooth. It is made up of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. The pulp is inside the crown of the tooth and also goes down to the tip of the roots. Your front teeth have one root, but your back teeth have 3.

The pulp makes dentin, should any need to be replaced and also brings nutrients to the tooth in the blood vessels. The nerves are there to give feeling and let you know about any pain.

Infected pulp

A severe infection of the pulp is known as pulpitis, and it can happen if decay gets into the tooth, often following an injury. It hurts a lot.

If you get a tooth infection that goes into the pulp, it’s not good news. You have 2 options: you can either have the tooth extracted or you can have a root canal.

What is a root canal?

Root canals allow you to hang onto your tooth. We clean out all the pulp, including right down into the roots. Once it is all cleared out, we fill the roots and the crown, and then to make the whole tooth strong and to protect it from further infection, we put a crown made of dental porcelain over the top of it.

At Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, root canals are performed under local anaesthetic, so there is no pain during the procedure.

Do I need a root canal?

There are several reasons for the need for root canals in Essex at Crofts Dental Practice. The over-riding reason is that the nerve in the centre of the tooth is either creating dental problems, or is at risk of developing problems in the future.


Root Canals in EssexOnce tooth decay becomes extensive, the bacteria that cause the decay can infect the nerve. This causes inflammation and pressure to build up inside the tooth. This pressure cuts of the blood supply to the nerve and the nerve will die.

The throbbing sensation often felt by our patients with an infected root is the increased blood pressure from each heartbeat. That is why the pain can feel worse with any exertion. It can also get worse whilst lying down, as the blood pressure to the head is increased.

Broken teeth

If you have an accident, or break a tooth biting into something hard, you can expose the tooth to outside infection. If this is simply a tiny spot, we can try simple fillings. But, if bigger, it may be wise to have a root canal, as it is likely to cause problems.

The symptoms

The symptoms felt by our patients who may need a root canal vary considerably and if you are in doubt, you should consult your dentist at Crofts Dental Practice. The symptoms of a tooth needing a root canal can include sensitivity to hot and cold. If the sensitivity only lasts a few seconds and is a sharp pain, you will probably just need a filling, but if the pain lasts more than a couple of minutes, you may need a root canal.

Another symptom can be pain when biting. If there is an abscess under a tooth, biting on the tooth puts pressure on the abscess, causing pain.

Swelling around a tooth is also common and most frequently associated with an infection. This infection can be from a root canal related infection, although there are other types of infection which your dentist can diagnose.

Sometimes, the nerve can die and you may not suffer any pain at all. This is one of the reasons why it is important to visit your dentist regularly.