Our Nelson Bay Platinum Dental team provides pain-free root canal treatments
Why do I need a root canal?
Root canal treatment (otherwise known as root canal therapy or endodontic treatment) involves removal and replacement of the injured or infected nerve of the tooth. Damage to the nerve can be caused by trauma either through a physical accident, deep decay, cracks or prolonged broken-down fillings. This may or may not cause discomfort, though leaving such a tooth untreated can result in abscess development and potential loss of the tooth.
How to know if you need a root canal?
It is not always obvious to a patient when they will require root canal therapy, which is why it is important to have dental x-rays during your regular dental check ups. Many patients visit the dentist suffering from pain in one or many teeth but not all of these will require root canal therapy. X-rays are vitally important for dentists to diagnose when the source of the problem is the nerve that needs to be treated. It is also possible to spot other tooth infections before they become painful. This early intervention can even negate the need for a root canal in future.
Signs and symptoms that you may require root canal therapy:
- The presence of an abscess in your gums.
- Hot and cold sensitivity.
- Tenderness or swelling of the gums.
- Acute toothache pain.
- Sometimes there my be no symptoms.
Reasons to have root canal therapy:
- Severe tooth decay has reached the tooth pulp and is causing pain.
- To minimise the risk of further oral health complications from infections or abscesses.
- To save a tooth before it is required to be extracted.
What does treatment involve?
- The infected nerve is removed (under local anaesthetic) and the root canals are cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution.
- The cleaned root canals are filled with material to seal the tooth and stop bacteria accessing the canal.
- A permanent filling or crown is placed over the tooth to protect the canal, and to
- restore the tooth’s shape and functionality.
How long will it take?
- Multiple visits are needed depending on which tooth is being treated.
- Appointments are normally spaced approximately a week apart and between these, the tooth is temporarily restored.
Does it hurt?
Root canals are not as drastic as you may think. The dentist uses a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth so you will be comfortable throughout the procedure.