Category: Root Canal

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Toothache

If you have ever had toothache then you will know it can be extremely painful as it is a signal that something is wrong with your tooth. Initially, it is worth just gently flossing around the tooth just in case you have a piece of impacted food trapped in between your teeth. This can be enough to slightly dislodge the tooth, pushing it out of position and causing pain. If the toothache persists, it is a good idea to book an appointment to come and see our Southampton dentist. It could be that your tooth is badly infected and it will require urgent treatment to save it.

toothacheHow We Diagnose a Badly Infected Tooth

When you come to see us we can carefully assess your tooth to diagnose the problem. A tooth that is infected may be surrounded by gum tissue that looks slightly red or swollen and toothache could be persistent or just present when you try to bite or chew on the tooth. The affected tooth may also look as if it has become discoloured or will be darker than you remember. We may test your tooth’s reaction to cold and will probably wish to take a dental x-ray so we can see the extent of the infection. An x-ray is also extremely useful for planning treatment which is highly likely to be root canal therapy.

You Needn’t Fear Root Canal Therapy

Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatment should feel no worse than having a filling and it’s likely to come as a huge relief if your tooth is pretty painful. Once treatment is completed your tooth should feel considerably more comfortable as it settles down.

What Will Happen during Root Canal Treatment?

The idea of root canal treatment is to remove all the infected tissue right from the centre of your tooth in an area called the pulp. This contains all the nerves and blood vessels to a tooth, but an adult tooth can function perfectly well without it. Our dentist in Southampton will thoroughly clean out the pulp and the root canals which extend from the pulp into the tooth roots. The number of root canals can vary according to the size of the tooth as for example a small front tooth will have just one root canal whereas a larger back tooth could have three.

Once all the infected tissue is removed, the area is thoroughly disinfected. At this stage we may place antibiotics into the empty pulp chamber to help clear up any remaining infection, particularly if the infection was pretty severe. The tooth can then be sealed and will need to be restored at a later date once we are sure the infection is fully cleared up. This normally means placing a crown over the tooth to protect it.

Root canal treatment is often very successful and can extend the life of a tooth by many years. Without root canal treatment we wouldn’t have any other option but to extract the tooth which is always something we try to avoid. One thing to bear in mind is that root canal treatment tends to be more successful the earlier we can catch the infection so if you do have toothache then we urge you to come and see us here at Smilemakers so we can diagnose and treat the problem. You can call us on 02380 442626 or request a call back through our website at

Is Having Root Canal Treatment As Bad As It’s Made Out To Be?

Going to a Southampton dentist isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun day out and when you’re told that you need root canal treatment then understandably your day seems to go from bad to worse. Root canal treatment is a last ditch attempt to save a badly damaged tooth and consists of removing the infected pulp and repairing the decay. It also consists of extensive drilling and filling in order for the restoration to be successful.

root canal treatmentIt’s true to say that root canal treatment does get a bad reputation from most dental patients but with treatments such as this, it makes sense to separate fact from fiction, so that you’re fully informed and know just what to expect. We’ve put together answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about root canal treatment.

What are the signs that I may need root canal treatment?

It’s likely that you may need root canal treatment as a result of your Southampton dentist having spotted a problem in a X-ray or examination, that isn’t actually giving you any symptoms to be aware of as yet. However other tell-tale signs include:

  • Discomfort when chewing or biting
  • Tooth ache
  • Discomfort when you’re asleep
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures

Does the treatment hurt?

Thanks to modern dental technology, anaesthetics, and processes such as conscious sedation, the patient will not feel any pain from root canal treatment. However, they are likely to experience a little discomfort for the first day or two following treatment. Any pain can usually be alleviated with over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen or Paracetamol.

How long will treatment take?

Often treatment can be completed surprisingly quickly, sometimes in as little as half an hour. If however the tooth anatomy is difficult, then it can take up to two hours to complete. Usually a root canal can be completed in one visit.

Do I need to do anything special following root canal treatment?

A root canal treats the inside of the tooth so once the procedure has been undertaken your tooth will be restored with a temporary filling. Then, usually within 6 weeks, the patient returns for permanent restoration of the tooth. It’s important during this 6 week period to steer clear of sticky chewy foods which could pull out the temporary filling or cause other damage to the tooth. Often due to the invasive nature of the treatment, the restored tooth is capped with a dental crown to protect the root canal and the remaining tooth structure.

Alternative options

The only alternative to undergoing root canal treatment is to have the tooth extracted and, if the tooth isn’t replaced, then it can lead to further issues such as drifting of adjacent teeth and bone loss.

Is root canal treatment expensive?

Typically saving the tooth with a root canal is cheaper than replacing the tooth with a bridge or dental implant, although you may need to factor in the cost of a dental crown, if your cosmetic dentist in Southampton decides it’s necessary following root canal treatment.

As you can see root canals aren’t really that bad and most patients feel little or no pain at all. Any side effects are minimal and you get to keep your tooth. What’s more any pain that you felt before root canal treatment will also be eliminated.

If you feel you may need root canal treatment then Smilemakers can help. Contact us today on 02380 442626 to book an appointment with Dr. Thomas Darling or contact us online at