What are Root Canals?


Root canals are a commonly performed dental procedure in Ireland. They are used to treat infected teeth or irreparably damaged nerves by removing the infected pulp and disinfecting the root cavity. The remaining space is then filled with a sealant to prevent bacterial re-infection. Typically, root canal treatment involves an initial appointment for preparation, including x-rays, followed by two appointments spaced about six weeks apart. However, it’s important to consult with your dentist as there may be exceptions to this timeline. Choosing a root canal can save your natural tooth, which would otherwise require extraction in more severe cases of infection or extensive damage, including broken-off root fragments. The procedure aims to eliminate bacteria from the root cavity, prevent reinfection, and alleviate pain associated with exposed nerves, ultimately preserving your dental health.


What Is A Root Canal Used To Treat?


A root canal is a necessary treatment for teeth that have experienced cracks or other injuries. Its primary purpose is to seal the affected tooth and prevent the spread of infection to adjacent areas of the mouth, thereby avoiding potential dental emergencies. In some cases, a root canal might be required if old amalgam fillings have been replaced with composite (white) fillings, as these can sometimes lead to gradual cracking. Such cracks can cause discomfort while chewing on one side of the jaw.


A root canal is commonly used for the following purposes:

  • Repairing damaged teeth
  • Treating cavities
  • Preventing further decay

What are Endodontics?


Endodontics is a specialized field of dentistry focused on treating the internal structures of teeth, specifically the tooth pulp. Endodontists are experts in addressing tooth pain, diseases, and infections related to the tooth pulp. The tooth pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, and it can become inflamed or infected. In such cases, an endodontist is skilled in assessing the health of the tooth’s root and providing necessary interventions when issues arise.


Endodontists undergo additional training of at least two years, which equips them with the expertise to perform specialised procedures such as root canals. Root canals are performed to save teeth that have been infected or decayed. Endodontists also conduct apicoectomies, another procedure within their scope of practice.


Am I Suitable For Endodontic Treatment?


If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for endodontic treatment:

  • Persistent tooth pain and heightened sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Bacterial infection affecting the tooth
  • Dental injury or trauma
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Swollen gums
  • Chipped tooth

To determine the most suitable solution for your specific case, we recommend contacting our office and scheduling an appointment. Our team will provide you with the best possible guidance and treatment options.

Examples of Endodontics?


Root Canals: A root canal procedure is performed to address an infected pulp area, alleviate pain, and preserve the tooth. Typically, infections are caused by extensive decay or deep cavities near the pulp, making a root canal the most effective and often the only method of saving a damaged tooth. During the procedure, the infected material within the pulp-filled cavity or root of the tooth is carefully removed, followed by thorough cleaning. The infected area is then replaced with inert material, ensuring the preservation of the tooth.


Apicoectomy: When a root canal alone cannot eliminate an infection that affects both the root and surrounding tissues, your endodontist may recommend a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. This procedure involves removing the tip of the tooth root, where bacteria are present, in order to treat the infection. The resulting hole is thoroughly cleaned and sealed to promote healing.


Endodontic Retreatment: In some cases, a previously treated tooth may not fully heal due to narrow, curved, or branched root canals that are challenging to clean. Additionally, there may be extra canals that were not initially detected during the initial procedure. If the tooth remains painful or diseased after the initial treatment fails to clear the infection, endodontic retreatment is a viable option to save the tooth.


Traumatic Dental Injuries: Accidents or sports-related injuries can lead to traumatic injuries to the teeth, resulting in necrosis of the tooth pulp. This can include chipped teeth that have not been fully dislodged. The appropriate treatment for traumatic dental injuries depends on the location and severity of the injury. At College Gate Dental Clinic, our team will assess the situation and provide you with a tailored solution, particularly if neighboring teeth have also been affected and require dental examination.

Am I suitable to get this treatment?


Determining your suitability for a root canal treatment will be assessed by our dentists at Smile Hub Dental Clinic. However, the decision to proceed with the treatment ultimately rests with you. A root canal is typically considered as a last resort for addressing dental issues and may involve some level of pain or cost. Nevertheless, it can often save your teeth, which are one of your most valuable assets – your smile!


If you are experiencing persistent tooth pain and sensitivity that does not resolve on its own, we encourage you not to delay seeking dental assistance. There are now various options available to manage dental problems without resorting to extensive surgery, such as undergoing a root canal procedure. Whether the cause of a cracked tooth is genetic or due to an injury, our team will work closely with you, ensuring you feel confident in making informed decisions regarding your treatment.


Aftercare following a root canal procedure is crucial. For several hours after the treatment, you may experience numbness in your mouth, making it important to be cautious with your food choices. Chewing or consuming hot beverages could pose a risk. It is essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and spend the rest of the day resting. Take any prescribed medications as directed, consume soft foods, be gentle when brushing the treated tooth, try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth if possible, and most importantly, monitor your progress. It is advisable to avoid eating immediately after the procedure and refrain from aggressive tooth brushing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Endodontics or Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment removes the infection within the root of the tooth and seals it to help prevent further infection. This helps preserve the function and aesthetics of your teeth so you can eat, smile and talk comfortably.


Root canal treatment is needed when the pulp tissues within the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. Deep decay, repeated dental fillings, a cracked or chipped tooth or dental trauma such as a fall or sporting injury can cause this inflammation to occur. If inflammation within the dental pulp/nerve is left untreated it can result in a dental abscess/swelling, pain at night and dental pain when biting or eating food. This dental pain is often not helped by taking painkillers.

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

At Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside Medical Centre your dentist will ask you if you have experienced pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat/cold, tenderness to touch/chewing, discolouration of your tooth or swelling of the gum around the tooth. Tenderness of lymph nodes near to the infected tooth can also be a sign of needing endodontic/root canal treatment. Sometimes, teeth that require root canal treatment may not have any symptoms at all.

How will root canal treatment save my tooth?

Your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic will remove your inflamed dental pulp, carefully clean and shape the inside of your root canal and then fill the space to seal it against bacterial overgrowth. Then you will return to your dentist for a protective crown restoration to protect the remaining tooth structure and restore your tooth to full function and natural aesthetics. No one will know your tooth had any treatment.

Is the procedure uncomfortable?

Root canal treatment is carried out to help relieve the pain of toothaches that result from an infected or inflamed dental pulp. At Smile Hub Dental Clinic we offer all our patients sedation for their endodontic/root canal treatment procedures which in combination with local anaesthetic make your treatment really relaxing and comfortable.


Following treatment your tooth may feel slightly different from your other teeth as the healing progresses. However, if you have pain that lasts more than a few days, please Call or Book Online with your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic in North Dublin.

What will happen at my Root Canal Treatment Appointment?

At Smile Hub Dental Clinic endodontic or root canal treatment may be performed over 1-3 visits. Root canal treatment involves the following phases:


  1. Your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic will assess your x-ray of the infected or painful tooth. Your tooth will be numbed with local anaesthetic and a small protective shield (rubber dam) is placed over the tooth undergoing treatment. This shield protects your tooth from saliva leaking into the tooth during the procedure.
  2. An opening is created in your tooth to gain access to the dental pulp. Small instruments are utilised to clean and shape the pulp from the pulp into the root canals. The space is shaped and disinfected to receive the root canal filling.
  3. Root canals are then filled using a biocompatible material made from a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The root canals are completely sealed.
  4. A permanent composite filling is placed and a crown restoration planned if indicated to protect the tooth against fracture. In some cases, if the tooth lacks sufficient tooth structure a post may be placed within the tooth to help hold the restoration in place. Ask your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic in North Dublin about the specific restoration planned for your tooth following root canal treatment.

Are there any special care requirements for my tooth following root canal treatment?

An unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, cracking or chipping so please return to your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic for your definitive dental crown restoration as soon as possible to prevent tooth fracture or cracking. Excellent oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing and regular professional dental exams and cleanings are crucially important for your oral health.

Most root canal treated tooth last as long as other natural teeth. Sometimes a tooth that has had endodontic treatment does not heal and the pain or infection may persist. When this occurs, often repeating the root canal treatment can save your tooth.

Why would by root canal treated tooth require re-treatment?

Trauma, deep decay or a loose/cracked or broken filling can cause infection to re-occur in your tooth. Sometimes a hidden narrow or curved canal can be located within your tooth which may have been uncovered during your initial treatment.

Can all teeth be root canal treated?

Root canal treatment can be performed on most teeth however sometimes if root canals are inaccessible or severely fractured the tooth cannot be saved with endodontics. If a tooth does not have sufficient bony support or if the tooth cannot be adequately restored then root canal treatment is inadvisable. Endodontics are constantly advancing and here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic all of our dentists stay up-to-date and regularly attend advanced training in providing root canal treatments using the latest techniques so that our patients can enjoy the highest quality of dental care in Ireland. In cases where root canal treatment is ineffective, endodontic surgery may be a suitable treatment option that your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic will discuss with you.

Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment involves treating disease of the dental nerve. This nerve is located within the canals in the tooth’s roots. If the nerve is infected or dies it can lead to severe sensitivity, a persistent toothache or a dental abscess. Your tooth may discolour.


Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment can save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted. At Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside Medical Centre we provide pain free root canal treatment. If you’re a nervous patient please consider our sedation option which will make your root canal treatment a comfortable and relaxing experience.


During your root canal treatment your root canals will be cleaned and disinfected. At Smile Hub Dental Clinic in North Dublin our highly skilled dentists prepare your root canals so that they can be sealed with a bacteria resistant root canal filling material. Your tooth will then be restored and may remain in function for years. If your tooth has lost considerable tooth structure a crown may be recommended to strengthen your remaining tooth and prevent tooth fracture and subsequent tooth loss. Front teeth usually have a single root however back teeth can have 3-4 roots which considerably increases the dentists work in cleaning out the infected canals. Root canal treatments do not have a 100% success rate as some teeth can have unusual anatomy or bacteria that cannot be fully eradicated.


In some cases, your dentist at Smile Hub Dental Clinic may recommend tooth extraction if root canal treatment cannot be successfully performed on your tooth. In some cases, a tooth is too compromised to enable a predictable restoration to be placed. In these cases, a dental extraction and the provision of a dental implant may have a better long-term outcome for you.


At Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we ensure your comfort during root canal treatment we have invested in the most modern dental technology such as rotary instruments. By us using the latest dental equipment we ensure that your root canal treatment has the greatest chance of success and that you will spend less time in the dental chair. We use digital x-rays and special anaesthetics to ensure that your root canal treatment is pain free. Many of our nervous patients opt for sedation during their root canal treatment to ensure that their experience is relaxed and comfortable. At Smile Hub Dental Clinic our dentists have specifically undergone extensive post-graduate training in root canal treatment to ensure that your root canal treatment/ endodontic treatment will have the highest success rates and best outcome possible.

Please Call us today or book online to schedule your root canal treatment in Smile Hub Dental Clinic, Sutton, Dublin 13.

What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is required when the nerve inside a tooth is dead or dying. Usually this causes severe discomfort for which root canal treatment can provide relief. Sometimes a dead tooth has no symptoms and is a chance finding on an x-ray examination. If left untreated there is potential for the tooth to get loose or become discoloured. Root canal treatment involves cleaning out an inflamed or infected tooth root. An opening is made in the crown of the tooth to facilitate instrument access.

Once the treatment has been completed a crown is often recommended to prevent tooth fracture. A tooth with root canal treatment is much more likely to fracture than one without. Back molars are most likely to crack so research indicates that a crown is recommended for these cases.

Why does my tooth need root canal treatment?

A root canal can be required for a variety of reasons such as a crack in a tooth, severe tooth decay or wear from teeth grinding habits. Sometimes when treating tooth decay a deep filling may not be adequate to remove the infected tissue necessitating a root canal treatment. In some cases, the nerve inside a tooth can be very sensitive. The process of removing decay can occasionally alert the patient and dentist to the fact that the nerve is irritated and infected. Prevention is the best way to reduce the need for this treatment by maintaining excellent oral hygiene and 6 monthly visits to Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside Medical Centre.

Is root canal treatment uncomfortable?

One of the main signs of needing a root canal treatment is hyper-sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. Other symptoms include severe discomfort in the tooth when chewing, discolouration of the tooth or swelling of the surrounding gums. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should arrange an appointment with your dentist in Smile Hub. Sometimes a tooth that needs root canal treatment may not have any symptoms at all. All nervous patients have the option in Smile Hub Dental Clinic to have their root canal treatment undertaken with conscious sedation. Call a member of our friendly dental team today to find out more about making your dental experience comfortable and relaxing with sedation.

What are the risks of having a root canal treatment completed?

A root canal is usually preformed to save the tooth but sometimes the tooth is too broken down to undergo the treatment. This can lead to the loss of the tooth. Occasionally the dentist will discover a crack in the tooth which can`t be restored. Other times the bacteria is too aggressive or too established to adequately disinfect. It is not always possible to say with certainty how long a tooth will last after root canal treatment. In a small number of cases root canal treatment can be successful initially but a short time later symptoms can reappear. Root canal treatments do not have a 100% success rate meaning that 10-20% of cases can redevelop infection.

Root canal treatments have a high success rate but you need to be aware that nothing can be 100% guaranteed. After root canal treatment the tooth is at higher risk of cracking or staining. Your dentist may recommend a crown on the tooth. This is particularly recommended for back teeth where the chewing forces are greater.

If you have any questions about the risks of root canal your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside Medical Centre will be happy to discuss the procedure in detail with you as every case is different.

Get in touch now!


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