Root Canal Treatment

All teeth have a nerve supply which enables us to sense pain, pressure, hot and cold. The nerve is contained in the core of the tooth extending into canals based in the roots of the teeth.

If this nerve supply is affected through tooth decay, trauma or gum disease it can expose the nerve and lead to infection and oral pain. This is the tooth’s way of telling us something is wrong. It can also make it difficult to eat, drink and sleep.

If the nerve has become aggravated for any of the aforementioned reasons a root canal treatment may be required. This is also known as endodontic treatment ,and involves using delicate instruments to gently clean out the root canals, remove any exposed or infected nerve tissues and wash them all out to ensure the root canal is clean. Once they have been adequately cleansed, a rubber-like material is placed within the canal system to ensure that bacteria cannot re-enter the tooth and it can be restored to normal function. The success rates are generally very high.

Without root canal treatment the only alternative is to remove the tooth and replace it with either an implant, bridge or removable denture. These alternatives can be very successful but we believe no replacement can match a natural tooth.

If you are in pain and are nervous or anxious, please let us know. We know these procedures can be nerve-racking and pride ourselves in taking care of patients who have dental anxiety or phobias. If this is the case we can arrange for you to be sedated which will make you feel calm, relaxed and more comfortable throughout the procedure.

We have an experienced team of dentists to carry out the root canal treatment at the practice, and we work closely with a specialist endodontist who is on hand for the more complex cases.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, please get in touch as you may need an appointment with our team.


If this lasts only a few moments and goes away after the hot or cold has been removed, it is likely to be either a loose filling, gum recession or a small cavity. It could also be a sign of the nerve being inflamed

What to do

Apply sensitive toothpaste directly to the tooth. This will often offer some immediate relief. If it does not then it is best to seek dental advice.

Lasting pain to the hot or cold?

Lasting pain after exposing your teeth to hot or cold temperatures suggests that the nerve is affected. This will likely need root canal treatment.

What to do

The best thing is to do is seek immediate dental advice. If treated quickly it may be possible to avoid root canal treatment.

Pain when biting

This can be due to a loose filling, a crack in the tooth or tooth decay. It can also be a sign of exposure or damage to a nerve.

What to do

Seek dental advice. It is likely that the tooth will need repair, root canal treatment or extraction.

Constant throbbing pain and/or swelling

Constant pain is usually a sign that the nerve is aggravated and will need treatment with root canal treatment. Gum swellings indicate the presence of an abscess which is an infection related to the tooth. This will need to be treated separately with drainage or antibiotics

What to do

Seek dental assistance as soon as possible as this can worsen and cause a more severe infection.

Root Canal Treatment Prices

Root Canal Treatment with General Dentist – from £300

Root Canal Treatment with Specialist – from £600

(All prices for treatment at the practice are subject to a 20% discount if you are a member of our Practice Plan. We also offer 0% finance to help spread the cost.)

Is root canal treatment painful?

Root canal treatment typically does not hurt as the use of local anaesthetic will ensure the area is adequately numb. The pain is usually worse before the treatment and root canal treatment will provide relief.

How long will the tooth last after root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and the tooth can last a lifetime if properly restored and looked after with regular brushing, flossing and check-ups. However it is important to recognise that if a tooth requires a root canal it is in a deteriorated state. As a result it is impossible to give these teeth a lifetime guarantee.

Is there pain after treatment?

There can be some tenderness after the procedure. We recommend over-the-counter painkillers for this.

Alternatives to root canal treatment

The alternative to root canal treatment is the extraction of the tooth which can result in a functional chewing problem or aesthetic issue. Replacing the tooth with a prosthesis such as a denture, bridge or implant may be required.

Can all teeth have root canal treatment?

Whilst we will always try to preserve your natural teeth, when there is not enough tooth structure, bone support for the tooth or the canals are not accessible, root canal treatment may not be possible. We will only ever treat teeth that have a good long term prognosis. This will all be discussed with you at your consultation appointment.

Can root canal treatment fail?

Root canal treatment, like any other dental treatment, is not guaranteed to succeed. However research suggests the success rate is in excess of 90% if performed to a good standard. Failure can occur if there is further tooth decay, if the restoration fails and if the tooth is not maintained properly. If the tooth is not protected with an onlay or crown it can also fracture the tooth. However, even if looked after well, root canal treated teeth can still fail. If this happens, further re-root canal treatment or extraction may be necessary.

Failure can occur for a variety of reasons including difficult or curved canals, complicated tooth anatomy or if the final restoration was not placed as soon as possible after the root canal treatment was complete. It can also occur if the restoration had a poor fit and caused leakage or decay.

What is re-root treatment?

If the root canal treatment fails or the symptoms continue to persist, it may require a re-root canal treatment. This can become evident shortly after the procedure, but it can also take many years after the initial treatment. This is a complicated treatment and is only carried out by a specialist Endodontist, and has a lower success rate.