So you’ve been to see your dentist and found out that you need root canal treatment but don’t know what happens next. Your dentist will, of course, be happy to share details of your treatment plan with you but if you’d like to be prepared by checking out what is likely to happen, read on.

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Any root canal treatment is typically carried out over more than one appointment as your dentist will make sure that the preparatory work identifies exactly what needs to be done by taking a series of x-rays. If it is a complex case, your dentist may refer you to a specialist in this area of dental treatment called an endodontist. You can find out more about endodontists here:

Your dentist will also let you know what sort of anaesthesia will be needed and this will depend on the state of the tooth. He or she will have access to the latest in dental equipment supplies to ensure that the right preparation and treatment is available to you.


Your dentist will use specialist equipment, such as that made by, to remove the top (or crown) of the tooth to access the pulp inside the tooth, which is likely to be infected. If your dentist has told you that you have an abscess, this will be cleaned out at the same time. Once all the pulp has been taken out, your dentist will clean out the root canal and enlarge it so that it can be filled.

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Each tooth has a different number of root canals but all of them are narrow in shape, so increasing their size and filling them may take more than one visit. If this is the case, your dentist will create a temporary filling for your tooth to seal it so that it doesn’t become infected again. The temporary filling will be removed when you return for your next visit and a permanent root canal filling and final filling put in its place. This will help ensure that the tooth does not become infected again. However, any tooth which has undergone root canal treatment is more likely to break than your other teeth so you may need a crown (like a cap for your tooth made from ceramic material or powdered glass for example) to prevent the tooth from fracturing.