Root Canal Treatment
Root canal or endodontic treatment is the process in which a diseased, decayed or traumatised tooth is treated to restore health. If infection is left untreated severe consequence may occur including destruction and infection of the underlying jaw bone, severe facial swelling, and possible septicaemia.
Usually the only other option besides root canal therapy is extracting the tooth, which in turn creates other long term problems including:
- Movement and tilting of adjacent teeth out of their natural position
- Increasing the risk of decay or gum disease on adjacent teeth
- Chewing and biting difficulties as more teeth are removed
How do I know if I require root canal treatment?
A dentist will closely examine the tooth and take an x-ray to see what is happening under your gum. Vitality tests are conducted to see if the nerve has died, along with investigation of your specific signs and symptoms which will indicate if root canal treatment is required. An unhealthy tooth may present as:
- Severe pain which keeps you up at night
- Some difficulty achieving pain relief with pain killers
- An abscess or swelling of the gum adjacent to the tooth
- Bad taste from pus coming from the infection
- Facial swelling
- Pain to biting or chewing
- Severe sensitivity to hot and cold
- Pain which lingers
- Progressive darkening of the tooth
An unhealthy tooth does not always present with any signs or symptoms which may be surprising. These teeth are normally picked up during routine dental examination with accompanying x-rays.
What to expect:
Most people have heard of negative stories about root canal treatment, however in nearly all cases the experience does not feel too different from routine restorative work once the tooth has been numbed. The process involves removing all the diseased nerve and shaping the canals before filling the canals of the root with a rubber based filling material. It usually takes more than one visit to complete and xrays are taken of the roots of the tooth to assess the length and then of the final filling.
Because the tooth is non-vital it becomes brittle so requires a crown to be placed over it to strengthen and preserve it. In a lot of cases the tooth goes darker after the treatment is completed. If it is a front tooth we will suggest options to improve the colour until a permanent crown can be placed. The success rate of root canal treatment followed by a crown to protect it, is approximately 90% over 10 years.
Please do not hesitate to contact us on 3396 4094 to arrange an appointment if you require further information regarding.