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We usually recommend root canal treatments in our dental practice in North London when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected, either through decay or injury. The pulp is the soft bit inside the tooth, and runs right through the root, carrying the nerve supply and nutrients. When it becomes infected, that infection can spread throughout the root canal system of the tooth, and can cause an abscess which is usually extremely painful.
If left untreated the infection can lead to damage around the bone of the tooth, and the tooth is likely to have to be removed.
Root canal treatment can be quite lengthy – because the area we are treating is so small, it takes a great deal of skill and patience. This, combined with the need to let the infected tooth settle down before we complete the treatment, means you are likely to need two or three appointments with us.
Occasionally time is needed for an infection to settle, so two visits may be required for treatment. A temporary filling is placed with medication in the tooth to help destroy germs and prevent further infection. In most circumstances the treatment can be completed in one visit.
On your next visit we will examine the tooth to ensure that the infection has cleared properly, and will replace the temporary filling with a permanent one. Sometimes a filling will be all you will need, but often the root canal treatment weakens the tooth and it will need strengthening with a crown.
Often the first sign that you might need a root treatment is swelling and pain in the gums, if you notice this yourself and you don't already have a dentist in St Johns Wood, or don't know any dentists in North London then please do give us a call as soon as possible before it gets too bad.