Root canal treatment

There may be various reasons why someone needs root canal treatment. The most common reason is severe toothache. The living part (the nerve) of the tooth may be inflamed to such an extent that we need to remove the nerve in order to stop the pain.

The inflamed living tooth tissue is removed during root canal treatment. This is done under local anaesthetics. Next, the canals are cleaned, disinfected and filled. The tooth is then closed again with filling.

If the root end is inflamed, the nerve in the tooth is already dead. The dead nerve tissue causes the inflammatory response. This root end inflammation can break through the jaw bone and cause an abscess. This can be very dangerous, particularly if the abscess is located in the lower jaw and on the side where the tongue is. It usually spreads to the side where the cheek is. If you have such an abscess, you should always come to the practice or, if we are not available, call our emergency number. The dentist on duty will then remove the dead nerve tissue from the root and clean the root canals. It will often be necessary to open the abscess and let the pus out. You will then be given antibiotics.

Flexible and ‘mechanical’

We use special small nickel-titanium (niti) files to empty, clean and fill the root canals. We do not file by hand as in the olden days, but “mechanical”. This saves us and the patient time. As these niti files are very flexible, we can reach every spot in the root and clean it completely. We also use an electric root canal length measurer so that we need to take fewer X-rays.


After the root canal treatment we regularly check the tooth over a period of six to twelve months. If all goes well, it may be a good idea to have a crown placed on the tooth to give it back its strength and prevent breaks.