Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Our Bedford dentist discusses this often misunderstood procedure.

Any dentist reading this post will likely have seen the look on a patient’s face when the words ‘root canal’ are mentioned. For a long time, this procedure has gained a reputation as one of the most painful experiences that can happen to you at a dental surgery, but is this true? In a nutshell, no, and we explain the reasons for this below.

Dental Abscess

No one really seems to know for sure why a root canal procedure has gained such an unwarranted reputation, but the likelihood is that, prior to x-rays being routinely taken before this procedure, an abscess at the root of the tooth would be left undetected. If the procedure took place with an abscess in place, it certainly could be very uncomfortable indeed. Patients of The Dental Centre Bedford need have no concern about this though. X-rays are always taken before a root canal procedure, and, if an abscess is found, it will be treated before the procedure goes ahead.

The procedure

A root canal procedure is an effective way of saving a tooth when the canals in the root have become infected. The primary way to preserve the tooth when this happens is to remove the infected material altogether. First of all, a powerful local anaesthetic is given to numb the locality of the procedure. A small section at the top of the tooth is then removed to allow the dentist access to the infected pulp in the canal(s). This infected material is then removed and the now hollow canals thoroughly cleaned to remove any remaining bacteria.

The hollow canals are then filled with a special filling material called Gutta Percha, and, in most cases, a dental crown will be added to the tooth to both give it a natural appearance, along with additional strength and longevity.


A root canal filled tooth is, in effect, a dead tooth and has little or no sensation and care should therefore be taken when biting down on hard foods. Providing that the patient takes reasonable care though, a root canal filled tooth should be strong enough for everyday use. Care should also be taken to brush and floss around the area well, as gum disease can still occur, even around a ‘dead’ tooth.

Most patients experience no more discomfort than would be expected with any invasive dental treatment, and our experienced and friendly dental team are here to guide you through the whole procedure.

If you would like more information about a root canal procedure, or have any questions that you would like to ask, please call your local Bedford dentist on 01234 819868.