Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that is used to treat the infection when it occurs at the centre of a tooth, in the root canal system. This area of dentistry is known as ‘endodontic treatment’.

Bacteria that invade the mouth usually cause an infection inside the tooth. This may happen after:

  • An episode of tooth decay
  • Fillings that are leaking
  • Trauma to the tooth as a result of an accident

The area requiring treatment is that part of the root canal system that contains the dental pulp and extends from the crown of the tooth to the root. There might be more than one root canal for any single tooth.


The ‘pulp’ is made up of soft tissue that includes blood vessels and nerves. The pulp will soon start to die if it becomes infected by bacteria. Bacteria will multiply and spread making the tooth pain and an abscess may also develop causing swelling of the face.

The Root Canal Procedure

To treat any infection in the root canal, the bacteria first needs to be removed and this can be done with root canal treatment so that the tooth is saved from extraction.

At Leeming Dental Practice we know that the words ‘root canal’ can strike fear into the heart of a patient. But modern techniques and anaesthesia have made this procedure one that needs no longer be feared and should be no more uncomfortable than having a filling.

Root canal treatment is usually successful and is also vital if a tooth is to be saved. In about 90% of cases, timely root canal treatment can help a tooth survive for up to 10 years after treatment.

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