Dentists in Anstey, Leicester 33 The Nook, Anstey, Leicester LE7 7AZ


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Root canal treatment (endodontics) is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the centre of a tooth. Root canal treatment can save a tooth that might otherwise have to be removed completely.

At the centre of a tooth is the ‘pulp’. This contains blood vessels, connective tissue and a nerve supply to the tooth. This gives the tooth feeling, sensitivity and keeps the tooth ‘alive’. It is possible however, for the pulp to get inflamed, or infected, eventually leading to pulp death (necrosis). There are several reasons why this may happen;

  • Trauma – if there is a blow to a tooth, the pulp can die in response;
  • A crack in the tooth allowing bacteria close to, or in to the pulp space;
  • Over-heating of a tooth (during some dental procedures);
  • If a tooth is knocked out (avulsed) and put back in the mouth (re-implanted);
  • If the pulp is exposed during a deep filling;
  • If a hole in the tooth (due to tooth wear or a cavity/decay) is deep and bacteria reach the nerve;
  • Rarely movement of a tooth due to braces

If the nerve becomes inflamed, you might experience some sensitivity or tooth ache. Eventually, the nerve will start to die, often causing a more severe, constant pain and an abscess might develop. Once the pulp is dead, the space it is in can become filled with bacteria, meaning the infection doesn’t clear up by itself.

The tooth might have to be removed, or your dentist might be able to offer you a root canal treatment. This involves cleaning out the dead pulp and filling up the hollow space with rubber, to block out any more bacteria from entering. Different teeth have a different number of ‘canals’, there can be four or more pulp chambers to clean in one tooth. The tooth might be weak from having the inside cleaned out and it is important that no more bacteria can creep in to the tooth from the top, therefore a ‘crown’ might be recommended to cover and seal the tooth.

The common steps for a root canal treatment are as follows:

  • Images – X-ray radiographs will usually be taken to assess the shape of the pulp space and the length of the root, as this cannot be seen by looking in the mouth.
  • Anaesthesia – the tooth will be numbed before treatment to make it comfortable for you.
  • ‘Rubber dam’ – usually, the tooth will be poked through a hole in a rubber sheet which sits over your mouth. You can breathe through this but it stops any of the disinfectant chemicals going in to your mouth and stops bacteria from your mouth getting in to the tooth.
  • Access – usually, a small hole is drilled in the top of the tooth so the dentist can see the pulp and clean inside it.
  • Cleaning – chemicals and small files are used to clean the dead pulp out, more images may be taken to check the files are in the right place.
  • Root canal filling – the clean, hollow space is filled with a rubber material to block bacteria out.
  • Final restoration – a filling or crown is placed to protect the top of the tooth.

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COVID-19 update

Many of you will be aware that during the latest Covid 19 update dental practices have been given the green light to re-open the surgery from 8th June. Whilst this is good news, there are a number of procedures that we have being putting in place to make treatment safe for our patients and staff, as we are sure you will appreciate, this is taking some time to set up.

Our intention is, if at all possible to commence opening on the 8th June but this is entirely dependent on our ability to obtain training and appropriate PPE which as you know there is a great shortage of. This equipment will be essential for us to be able to operate.

From 8th- 29th of June we will be prioritising the most urgent of cases including those who have been experiencing problems during this lockdown period. We will contact you directly to arrange an appointment. This period may be extended if required.

Rest assured we are trying our utmost to source this PPE as soon as possible to enable us to extend our treatment further to include fillings, crown/bridge work, root treatments and surgical extractions, scale & polish ect.

We anticipate that it will be several weeks before we will be able to commence these more advanced procedures.

This is a rapidly changing environment which we are adapting to as quickly as we possibly can. We really appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this difficult period and look forward to welcoming you back to the practice soon.

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