Root Canal Therapy – A Straightforward Explanation

Root Canal Therapy – A Straightforward Explanation

Familiarising our Ipswich patients with this sometimes misunderstood treatment

Nobody likes to lose a tooth and here at Foxhall Dental Practice in Ipswich, we firmly believe that it is always best practice to try and save a tooth, if it’s at all possible.

Usually, when faced with the situation where a tooth is very badly infected, then often the only treatment option available, other than extraction, is a root canal filling.

Dental abscess

Before we can proceed with the procedure, we first need to check that there is no abscess present. An abscess is a mass of puss that can collect at the site of an infection. Abscesses can form either inside the tooth, or in the gum at the base of the tooth. They are often very painful, and if present then a course of antibiotics may need to be prescribed prior to the treatment, to help to clear the infection.


The root canal procedure will need to be carried out using a local anaesthetic which will help to minimise any pain or discomfort that you may experience during the treatment. If you are at all nervous about the procedure, or the use of an anaesthetic, then please speak to your dentist prior to the treatment. We fully understand that some patients suffer from nervousness and anxiety and we will do all we can to put you at ease. Our practitioners are all highly trained and caring professionals using modern and very efficient anaesthetics, and there is a range of help available to make the whole experience less worrisome for you.

The procedure

To save the tooth we need to completely remove all traces of the bacterial infection that has taken hold inside the canals. The top part or crown of the tooth is first removed to expose the pulp which is the soft inner core of the tooth, containing blood vessels and nerves. The pulp is removed, and the dentist will then use a series tiny files to enlarge and shape the root canal, enabling it to be filled. The inside of the tooth will be cleaned, and treated with an antiseptic solution to ensure that all trace of the infection is removed.

The now hollowed out tooth is then filled, and a crown will be used to cover the missing top part of the tooth. The crown will both aid with the cosmetic appearance of the treated tooth, and will also help to strengthen it.

Care following a root canal procedure

With the root and the associated nerves removed, care is need to ensure that the outer enamel layer of the tooth remains intact and free from decay. It is important therefore, to maintain a good level of oral hygiene, with regular brushing and flossing to remove the build-up of plaque The treated tooth should be strong enough for normal day-to-day eating but care should be taken though when eating foods that are particularly hard.

Contact us

Our team of dedicated dental care practitioners in Ipswich is on hand to offer advice, and to answer any questions or concerns that you may have prior to undergoing a root canal procedure. Please contact the practice on 01473 258396, and our team will be only too pleased to help you.