When most people hear the phrase “root canal???, they panic. The good news is that with today’s improved local anaesthetics, state of the art equipment, and advanced treatment root canals no longer have to cause fright. Root canals are now a common procedure, and at Innovative Dental’s Moonee Ponds office we are expertly practiced in the procedure.
Root canal is a procedure for damaged teeth that helps avoid extraction. Tooth damage can come from many sources –trauma, fracture from an injury, cracked fillings, or from a poor oral hygiene. While there are many things that can cause damage or decay to your teeth, there are also effective methods by which you can save those teeth, and one of those methods is root canal treatment.
There is a range of dental solutions used in restoring a damaged tooth and the particular treatment will depend on your case and the extent of the problem. But if your tooth has been severely damaged, a root canal is most likely to be your Innovative Dental dentist’s recommendation.
What Is A Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal treatment involves drilling a hole into a decayed tooth and removing the soft centre, known as the dental pulp. The dental pulp is made up of connective tissue, nerves and blood supply, and extends into the roots of the tooth. The crown, or surface of the tooth that is used for chewing, may also be replaced if necessary.
It can take several appointments for the dentist to clean and shape the hole inside the tooth before placing a sterile filling inside. The dentist may also insert a small support into the root canals to strengthen the tooth. They may cap the tooth with an artificial crown if necessary.
Root canal therapy can be more uncomfortable than a normal filling, because it takes longer, but it is often no more painful.
What Are The Steps Of A Root Canal?
- Local anaesthesia is administered via injections.
- The affected tooth is isolated from the rest of the mouth, to avoid contamination.
- A small access hole is drilled through the affected tooth allowing access for treatment.
- Diseased and dead pulp tissue is removed from the tooth.
- The resulting canals are disinfected, shaped to allow them to receive root canal fillings and sealer, then cleaned and disinfected again.
- A temporary or permanent filling material is placed in the tooth and the tooth is temporarily sealed.
- A permanent restoration — a filling or a crown — is placed to protect the tooth.
When Is A Root Canal Treatment Needed?
A root canal treatment is needed to save a badly infected or damaged tooth. When the dental pulp is damaged, bacteria can start to multiply inside the tooth. This can lead to an infection or abscess, which is a pocket of pus that forms at the end of the tooth’s root. Untreated, this can lead to loss of the tooth, and worse. Root canal solves these problems and saves the tooth.
What Symptoms Suggest I Need A Root Canal Treatment?
In some cases there are no symptoms suggesting a tooth needs root canal therapy. However, common signs include:
- Severe toothache when chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold that continues after the source is removed
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swollen and tender gums
- Persistent pimple on the gums or a hole in the tooth
- Swelling of the face or neck.
Recovery From Root Canal
There is a healing period while the body repairs the area surrounding the tooth. However, after the dental anaesthesia has worn off you can usually eat and drink as usual, and resume normal daily activities. There may be some discomfort, particularly while biting, but it should not be serious. In some cases antibiotics will be prescribed, but dentists try to keep this to a minimum so as not to contribute to the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
If pain persists, see your Innovative Dental dentist! Also, maintain regular checkups to monitor healing.
The Innovative Dental Advantage
Our dental practice also has the latest technology to help achieve the highest standards of patient care. We use cutting edge tools like digital dental x-rays and intra-oral cameras. Our expert staff is well trained and keeps current on dental practices and technologies.
Call us on (03) 9346 8333 or book your appointment online TODAY!