Welcome to the specialist endodontic clinic, which is solely dedicated to providing quality root canal treatment in a friendly, comfortable and stress free environment. Led by endodontic specialist Alan Knight, all treatment will be undertaken using the dental operating microscope and utilising the latest technology, such as 3D imaging to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes for the patient.
Alan graduated in Dentistry from Birmingham University in 2005. After a couple of years in general practice he took up a number of hospital posts in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Units. At this time, he passed the membership examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. Alan then returned to general practice where he developed his interest in Endodontics, which led him to undertake his specialist training at Guys Dental Hospital, which he passed with a distinction.
Root canals are incredibly complicated structures and your dentist has referred you because your treatment requires specialist attention. An endodontist has had formal postgraduate training and Mr Knight is a GDC recognised specialist. As a result, endodontists are highly skilled and experienced in diagnosing and managing problems of endodontic origin. Being treated by a specialist often makes the treatment more efficient with more predictable outcomes.
Root canal treatment is required when the nerve of a tooth is irreversibly damaged or the tooth has developed an infection. Root canal treatment cleans, disinfects and seals the inside of the root. Once the procedure has been finished a temporary or permanent restoration will be placed and you will be advised what restoration will be best to restore the tooth to full function and help protect the tooth from fracturing in the future.
The alternative to root canal treatment is extraction of the tooth and in general the options to replace the tooth is either an implant, bridge or removable denture, which can be more expensive or less functional. Retaining your natural tooth is generally accepted as the best treatment outcome where possible.
A history of the symptoms from the tooth will be taken, followed by a thorough examination and any appropriate special investigations / x-rays that may be needed. At the end, Mr Knight will discuss the diagnosis of your dental problem and the treatment options available to you. At this point the overall prognosis of the treatment will be discussed and a treatment plan formulated.
The success of endodontic treatment can vary depending on the complexity of the case and is often dependent upon the condition of the tooth prior to treatment. Occasionally a tooth cannot be saved and Mr Knight will always discuss the overall prognosis of the tooth with you at the time of consultation.
Firstly, it will be checked that there have been no changes and you are still happy to proceed with the treatment. The tooth will then be numbed with local anaesthetic and isolated with a rubber dam. This is an essential part of endodontic treatment as it not only prevents new bacteria from entering the root canal system but it also acts as a safety barrier for the patient.
An access cavity will be made in the tooth and once the canals have been cleaned and shaped the root filling will be placed followed by a restoration to seal the access cavity. During the treatment 2 to 3 x-rays will normally be taken.
The time taken to complete the root treatment depends upon the complexity of the case. Treatment time is usually 1.5-2hours and occasionally more than one appointment can be required.
No, you should not experience any pain during root canal treatment. However, it is not uncommon to have some mild discomfort for a few days after the treatment has been completed, which should be managed effectively with over the counter painkillers. Occasionally, a very small proportion of patients may experience more pronounced pain and swelling after the treatment, which again normally resolves after a few days. Detailed aftercare information will be provided at the end of the appointment.
Your tooth will be restored with a filling after the root canal treatment, but the tooth will often require some further protection often with an onlay or a crown. This will be carried out by your referring dentist and Mr Knight will send a letter to your dentist explaining what treatment you had done and advice on what further restorative work is required. Leaving a root canal treated tooth without the recommended restoration can lead to tooth fracture and reduced survival of the tooth.