Root Canal Treatment

General Dentistry

Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment (or Endodontic Treatment) is a dental treatment used to save an injured, damaged or infected tooth.

The area of the tooth that houses the pulp or nerve of the tooth can get infected. Within each tooth there is a 'tunnel' that contains the nerve of the tooth. This tunnel is what is referred to as the root canal and when found in the root of the tooth.

If a tooth is damaged due to caries/tooth decay or or injured/broken, bacteria can enter into the root canal. Once the bacteria has entered the canal it can cause an infection of the nerve. Sometimes the infection of the tissue found within the canal, if left untreated can result in an abscess forming inside your mouth.

The dental procedure can be undertaken by a general dentist and involves the removal of the damaged tissue from the tooth. Typically, such teeth would have been extracted, but this treatment can be a solution to saving your tooth, and helping you improve your dental health.

Nerve damage to your tooth may have occurred for a number of reasons such as trauma, worn down teeth, teeth having extensive dental work, or broken or cracked teeth.

These can all lead to root canal pain, which should be investigated in order to prevent any further infections or possible loss of your tooth.

Root Canal Treatment may be able to save a tooth that would be otherwise lost permanently.

When is root canal treatment an option?

In most cases root canal treatment is used to remove the bacterial infection inside the tooth. This is important to prevent the tooth from being reinfected. The treatment also helps to save the natural tooth.  This is important to avoid an extraction.

Essentially, a root canal procedure means the dentist professional will:

  • remove of inflamed or infected pulp tissue (found in the canal)
  • clean and disinfectant/sterilise the inside of the tooth
  • fill and seal the tooth canal followed by a regular filling on top

Why do I need treatment for my tooth?

When your tooth is decayed or injured and the bacteria has entered the root canal and caused an infection, the infection can be severe. In such situations, the bacteria has travelled deep into the tooth's blood supply and nerve. This means the root canal has been damaged or compromised, and the damage caused by the bacteria cannot be reversed.

In other words, the infection caused by the bacteria has impacted the tooth's nerve and blood supply and will eventually lead to the loss of the tooth. This could mean replacing the lost tooth with a denture or dental implant, or nothing (a gap).

At this stage the options are to remove the tooth or have root canal treatment to try and save the tooth.

What happens if I avoid treatment?

If a damaged or infected tooth remains untreated you may experience discomfort and severe pain. The nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth can become severely infected. Signs of an infection is pus and abscesses that have formed at the end of the canal. This is due to the infection continuing to build-up.

The consequences of not treating the tooth can be serious such as loss of bone around the tooth's roots, secondary swelling around the neck, face and mouth and even hospitalisation.

After Root Canal Treatment

Patients report that after root canal treatment their tooth doesn’t feel the same. This is a normal feeling after treatment.

The root canal procedure has removed the damaged nerve from the tooth canal. As a result, the normal sensations you have when biting into food or consuming hot or cold foods and drinks will be different.

Another consideration is whether you want to better protect the treated tooth with a crown.

Many patients opt for a crown after about 3 months – this gives the tooth time to recover from the infection and the treatment. During that time the dentist may place a temporary filling to make sure the treated tooth stays clean and free of bacteria.

Some of your teeth experience a lot of force and rigour from chewing – this is especially the case with back molar teeth. A crown can protect the tooth from such rigours and help it last longer.

To find out more about our Root Canal Treatment, call our friendly staff at Woodville & Seaton Dental Clinic on (08) 8268 5422 or request an appointment online.

49 Woodville Road

Woodville, SA 5011

(08) 8268 5422

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