Root Canal Treatment – the buzzwords…

Posted on 29th April 2023

Root Canal Treatment – the buzzwords that often send patients into panic. But why?

Over the last 10 years of working in Dentistry, I have come to realise that there is a large stigma around root canal treatment. Often when the phrase is mentioned patients can be seen recoiling in their chair with a look of dread at the prospect having a “root canal”.

One thing I have learnt is that patients appreciate an understanding of why this treatment is recommended and what the treatment involves. After these discussions with the patient, I notice a reduction in patients anxiety levels and a more positive response to the idea of treatment.

For me, the most pivotal point to consider is why we are recommending a root canal treatment. In a nutshell, the essence of having root canal treatment is to avoid extraction of the tooth. Saving the natural tooth where possible is of utmost importance in all scenarios because we know that nothing is as good as a natural, healthy, functioning tooth.

So why is it that a patient needs a root canal filling in the first place? The answer is bacteria. Bacteria within the tooth is the main culprit and this can enter the tooth via a cavity, crack, fracture, failing or deep filling. Patients will often ask me what the “root canal” actually is. The simplest way to describe this is by thinking of the root canal like a drain pipe within the tooth. It starts from the centre of the tooth and extends to the tip of the root where it exits. The end goal of a root canal filling is to gently clean this drainpipe to remove all of the bacteria and to then fill the remaining space so that bacteria cannot enter again.

I believe one of the reasons why people worry so much about root canal treatment is the thought of it being painful. I’m sure most of us have heard stories from friends, family or someone they know having a root canal filling and finding it an unpleasant experience. What is important to remember is how many people have good and positive experiences. For me, as a dentist, one of our fundamental principles is to look after and care for our patients. When providing root canal treatments, the first procedure is to completely anaesthetise the tooth. I reassure patients that I will always do this no matter what so that during their treatment no pain is felt within the tooth. The tooth will be as numb as it would be for a conventional filling or even an extraction.

To summarise, we believe that root canal treatments are not something that patients should ever fear. At Infinity Dental Clinic we pride ourselves with our devotion to patient care and will always make sure our patients are comfortable during their treatment. The same applies for root canal fillings. I hope you have found this blog informative and thank you for taking the time to read it.


James David

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