Marylebone Dental Care
25 Devonshire Place, London, W1G 6JD
Telephone (020) 7935-9320
Fax (020) 7935-4486

Root Canal Treatment

Also known as Endodontic treatment or simply as root fillings. Teeth are held in the jaw by their roots. Front teeth normally have one root but teeth further back will have two, three or four.

Inside, there are nerves and a blood supply in the ‘root canal’. When the tooth is healthy the nerves are alive but decay or injury can cause the nerves to die. A dead nerve inside a tooth can cause an abscess at the end of a root.


‘Root filling’ means removing the dead nerves and filling the space left. The remaining tooth can then be repaired, usually by a crown.


What does the dentist do?

  • An x-ray will show the shape of the root canals and whether there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone

  • The area near the tooth is numbed with local anaesthetic

  • A hole is made in the tooth and enlarged to access the opening to the root canal system

  • The dead nerves are removed with files and irrigated with antiseptic solution.

  • Further x-rays are taken to measure the length of the root canals

  • Roots are filled with rubbery materials and with sealer pastes which set solid.

  • A root filling often needs more than one visit. The tooth could still be tender for a day or two afterwards thus painkillers and antibiotics may be necessary. 


What are the benefits?

  • Nerve damage can cause severe toothache but the pain will usually end very quickly when the root canal is cleaned out

  • Without a root filling a tooth with a dead nerve would probably have to be extracted

  • Root filled teeth can be prone to re- infection, but can be treated.