The need for root canal and the role of sedation

If you are experiencing a dental abscess, you will understand the importance of a root canal Edinburgh. But for too many patients, the anxiety regarding root fillings, the treatment procedure and dentists, in general, can delay them from seeking out extremely necessary care, often leading to more complicated emergency treatment in the future.


Let’s do a quick breakdown of root canal treatment, and then discuss how sedation can help anxious patients throughout the treatment process.

Need for root canal

The body has many ways of dealing with infections. In the best-case scenario, an infection is found early, with white blood cells migrating into the tissues and engaging and neutralising the bacteria before its numbers become significant.

Unfortunately, not all infections are dealt with in the best-case scenario, and one of the limitations to red blood cells getting to the site and functioning is how well the tissue is permeated with blood vessels. Between the jawbone and each of the individual roots, there is a gap that extends into the tooth; this is usually obstructed by gum tissue.

But if this gum tissue is receding, inflamed or damaged in some way, bacteria can pass into the gap between the front of the tooth and the jaw, allowing them to replicate in a space between two bones with little or no blood flow and significantly reducing the normal immune response. To cope with this, the infected area is contained with fibrous tissue creating an isolated capsule of bacteria, also known as an abscess. In such a difficult area to treat, the root canal allows for the abscess to be resolved without requiring the tooth to be extracted.

How root canals are used

To drain such an awkwardly placed abscess, a root canal gives access to the infected area by going through the tooth above it; this can be done by accessing the tooth through a small hole on its upper surface, widening its canal and extending out beneath the tooth. Once the abscess has been reached, it can be drained, cleaned and then packed with antiseptic material. This can be followed up with a long filling that begins beneath the tooth, spanning the length of the root up to the original access hole.

Due to the complicated nature of root systems and the way they can be knotted, branched and compacted, a root canal Edinburgh can take more than two hours and is often broken down into multiple sessions. If you are in need of a more extensive session, we will discuss this with you at the assessment stage and schedule two sessions for you.

Dental anxieties

For many patients, the idea of undergoing two hours of treatment can be unbearable, as anxiety builds quickly and is difficult to control over such a significant period of time. To help mitigate this, we at Edinburgh Endodontist will make use of both IV sedation and calmatives to alter consciousness, leaving the patient in a calm and compliant manner during the root canal Edinburgh without fully going under.