David McCaughey Dental

39 Malone Road

BELFAST   BT9 6RX

+44 (0) 28 9066 4426 

Mercer Dental Care

97 Brunswick Road

BANGOR   BT20 3DW

+44 (0) 28 9127 0634

Copyright © 2019 by Justin Barnes

Thank you for taking time to read this information for patients.

Justin looks forward to meeting you.

REFERRAL PROCESS

Your dentist may decide that you need specialist endodontic care and offer to refer you to Justin Barnes. Endodontics is the branch of dentistry which is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases which affect the tissues inside a tooth.

Your dentist will inform you to which clinic you have been referred. Once that clinic has received the referral details, you will be contacted for a consultation appointment. Every effort will be made to offer you the soonest available appointment which may not be for several weeks due to the large volume of referrals. It can sometimes take multiple appointments and several months for endodontic treatment to be completed from the point you are referred.

 

Please notify the clinic in advance if English is not your first language or if you have any other communication and/or accessibility needs. Ground floor facilities are available at Mercer Dental Care

APPOINTMENTS

The first appointment is a consultation which will last approximately 30 minutes in duration. The consultation is important to confirm the diagnosis, and ensure that you are informed of the options available with their respective pros, cons, costs and likely prognoses. You will have the opportunity to ask questions during the consultation. It is advisable that you then take time to carefully consider the information before making a decision to proceed with a particular option.

 

If endodontic treatment is indicated and you decide to proceed with treatment, further appointment(s) will be arranged with the clinic. Justin completes most within two treatment appointments, each approximately 30-90 minutes in duration. He aims to make treatment as comfortable as possible carrying out treatment under local anaesthetic; he does not offer any form of sedation.

 

After treatment, you will be invited to attend a review appointment prior to being discharged back to your own dentist. It is important that you continue to attend your own dentist for general dental care.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cannot attend, or need to amend/change your appointment, please notify the clinic as soon as possible giving at least two full weekdays' notice so the appointment can be offered to another patient.

 

You will be charged £50 per half hour of appointment time if you:

  • Do not attend your appointment;

  • If you give insufficient notice to amend/cancel your appointment; or

  • If you arrive late and the appointment has to be rescheduled.

This charge must be pre-paid before the clinic will schedule another appointment. If the fee is not paid, Justin may discharge the patient back to the referring dentist, and no further appointments will be offered.

 

The above policy is necessary to ensure that patients attend their appointment(s), other waiting patients are not disadvantaged, and Justin's waiting time is kept to a minimum. Failing to attend, giving insufficient notice to amend/cancel, or arriving late for an appointment can result in a wasted appointment for another patient.

FEES AND PAYMENT

Please refer to FEES page.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS ENDODONTIC TREATMENT?

 

Endodontic treatment is a dental procedure usually performed when:

  1. The nerves and blood vessels inside of a tooth (known as the "pulp") are dying, dead or have doubtful health.

  2. There is an infection inside the root(s) of a tooth.

  3. There is infection related inflammation of the tissues around the root(s) of a tooth.

The above may have occurred due to tooth decay, dental trauma, or stress cracks in teeth.

Examples of endodontic treatment include:

  • Pulp protection procedures.

  • Root canal treatment.

  • Root canal retreatment.

  • Surgical endodontics (e.g. apical surgery).

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF ENDODONTIC TREATMENT?

 

To CONTROL infection and thus allow the tissues around the tooth to heal and/or stay healthy so that the tooth can be retained and restored to function.

 

WHAT DOES ROOT CANAL TREATMENT INVOLVE?

 

Essentially, root canal treatment involves cleaning the infected "tunnels" (known as 'root canals') inside of the tooth, and then sealing the space left with a root filling to prevent reinfection.

The procedure involves:

  • Administration of local anaesthetic.

  • Application of a dental dam.

  • Removal of all or part of the existing restorative material in the tooth.

  • Shaping and cleaning the root canals with fine sterile dental instruments and disinfectants.

  • Filling the root canals. The root filling material is usually a rubbery material called gutta-percha.

  • Taking small dental x-ray images.

WHAT DOES ROOT CANAL RETREATMENT INVOLVE?

 

Root canal retreatment involves re-cleaning infected root canals, and then re-sealing the space left with a new root filling. The processes are similar to root canal treatment (see above); however, it can sometimes be more challenging to perform.

WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF ENDODONTIC TREATMENT?

 

Traditionally, success means your tooth should be symptom-free and without evidence of infection after completing endodontic treatment. The probability of endodontic treatment being successful is usually high but treatment cannot be guaranteed to be effective. Sometimes endodontic treatment has been completed to a satisfactory standard but it is ineffective. There is a risk of persistent infection which may then require further dental treatment, including further endodontic treatment or removal of the tooth (known as 'extraction'). It should be remembered that endodontic treatment aims to control infection, and it is not currently possible to make the inside of a tooth completely free from bacteria or other microbes.

 

WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO ENDODONTIC TREATMENT?

It is important that you take time to carefully consider all options available for your tooth, including the associated pros, cons, risks, likely prognoses and financial costs. The alternatives to endodontic treatment include:

  1. No treatment, which is not advisable as there is a risk of acute infection with pain and swelling; OR

  2. Removal of the tooth (known as 'extraction'). It may be possible to restore the resulting space with a dental implant, bridge or denture, subject to further assessment.

HOW MANY APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR TREATMENT?

Justin completes most cases within two treatment appointments, each approximately 30 to 90 minutes in duration.

WHY ARE THE APPOINTMENTS SO LONG?

The root canals may be complex, e.g. narrow, curved or blocked. It is important to take time to thoroughly clean and seal the inside of the tooth.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING TREATMENT?

 

There are unwarranted horror stories about endodontic treatment. Most patients do not experience any pain during treatment with local anaesthetic. Justin wants the experience to be as pleasant as possible, and patients frequently report that the experience was not as bad as they had expected. Justin will explain what he is doing during treatment and he will let you know in advance if you are likely to feel vibrations or hear noises. Justin uses a rubbery sheet (known as the 'dental dam') during root canal treatment and retreatment. This sheet is secured around the tooth to ensure optimal cleaning of the root canals and provide patient comfort as it protects the throat. Justin uses an operating microscope to significantly improve vision within the tooth.

HOW CAN I RELAX DURING TREATMENT?

 

You are welcome to bring your own headphones and listen to music. A rubbery prop can be placed between your upper and lower teeth to help your mouth stay open. Sometimes patients catch up on some sleep and take a nap.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT?

 

It is likely that the tooth and gum will feel uncomfortable/bruised/tender for a number of days after treatment.  It may be necessary to take painkillers and avoid chewing directly on the treated tooth for a few days. It is unlikely, but a small number of patients develop swelling after treatment.  If you experience facial swelling and pain, please contact Justin, your dentist, or an emergency clinic as you may require antibiotics.

WHAT FURTHER DENTAL CARE IS RECOMMENDED?

Following root canal treatment or retreatment of a back chewing tooth (molars and sometimes premolars), it is usually recommended that you attend your dentist for a "cap" (e.g. crown or onlay) to protect your tooth from cracking or splitting. Following root canal treatment or retreatment of a front tooth (incisors and canines), you may require aesthetic dentistry (e.g. dental whitening) which is usually provided by your own dentist. Your tooth should be reviewed at least one year after the completion of endodontic treatment; it is advisable that you attend Justin for this review. It is paramount that you keep your teeth and gums clean, eat a healthy diet with a low frequency intake of sugary substances, and attend your dentist for regular check-ups and general dental care.