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83 Station Road, Barnet, EN5 1PX

Root canal therapy (or endodontics) is a specialist dental procedure to treat infection inside a tooth.

Bacteria that normally live in the mouth can sometimes invade a tooth due to injury, cracks, faulty fillings, or tooth decay. The bacteria can cause an infection of the living tissue (pulp) which is contained within a space called the root canal.

Why is root canal therapy necessary?

The pulp within a tooth comprises soft tissue, comprising nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp undergoes damage, the blood vessels might cease functioning, leading to a “dead” tooth vulnerable to infection.

Untreated, the infection might progress along the root canal, causing inflammation in the surrounding tissues around the tooth’s end, resulting in redness and swelling. Consequently, the tooth itself becomes painful, and in severe instances, a dental abscess (accumulation of pus) may develop. In addition to experiencing pain, individuals may endure symptoms such as nausea, fever, and difficulty swallowing.


Warning signs & symptoms?

Your tooth might need root canal treatment if:

It hurts when you bite down on it, touch it or push it.
It is sensitive to heat.
It is sensitive to cold for more than a couple of seconds.
There is swelling near the tooth.
It is discoloured (whether it hurts or not).

root canal therapy
What are the alternatives to root canal therapy?

If the tooth exhibits no pain or other symptoms, it may be tempting to leave it untreated. Nevertheless, there remains a constant risk of future discomfort and potential tooth loss.

Should the nerve of the tooth become infected or damaged, root canal treatment stands as the sole method to preserve the tooth. Antibiotics solely address the infection, not the underlying issue.

In cases where the tooth suffers severe decay, injury, or compromised support due to gum disease, extraction may be the preferable option. Subsequently, we can explore tooth replacement options, such as dentures, bridges, or dental implants.

What does root canal therapy involve?

At Mona Lisa Smiles, our endodontic experts strive to deliver pain-free treatment, whether completed in one or two sessions – for anxious patients, we offer sedation options.

Initially, the decay and infection are meticulously removed from the tooth. Subsequently, we proceed to fill the root canal and securely seal the tooth using either a filling or a crown. This ensures restoration and shields the tooth from potential fractures.

Aftercare advice

The anaesthetic’s numbing effects typically subside within 1 to 4 hours post-treatment. During this timeframe, we recommend refraining from consuming hot beverages.

Following the procedure, it’s common to experience some pain and discomfort. Throbbing sensations around the treated tooth and tenderness while eating are normal within the initial 48 hours.

Should discomfort persist beyond this period, we encourage patients to promptly reach out to us for further guidance and assistance.


root canal