Root Canal Treatment
Are you worried that you might need a root canal?
A root canal is one of those dental procedures that most people fear and associate with pain. But there is no need to worry. At Northcote Dental, our dentists provide root canal treatment to many patients every year, and the results are genuinely life changing.
Root Canal Treatment and what it is
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Inside every tooth are nerves and blood vessels that make the tooth alive, healthy and allows you to feel sensation in the tooth. The nerves and blood vessels of the tooth sits inside narrow passages or canals, and this is referred to as the root canal of the tooth. In cases of severe tooth decay, trauma, large cavities, or extreme tooth wear, the nerves and blood vessel can become damaged or diseased. When this happens, an infection will form which leads to toothache or an abscess. The aim of a root canal is to repair and save your tooth. Root canal treatment involves alleviating your toothache by removing the infected nerves and blood vessels, cleaning the canals inside the tooth, and filling the canals with a filling to seal the tooth up again. Root canal treatment involves highly delicate work so at Northcote Dental, we perform this with precision using specialised rotary instruments.
Some Frequently Asked Questions on Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is needed if you have an infected tooth. The common signs of an infected tooth are:
- Aching pain in a specific tooth
- Teeth are particularly sensitive to hot or cold things
- Tenderness to bite on a tooth
- Tooth changes colour to a darker brown-black
- Swelling or soreness around your gums
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is important to contact your dentist to check your teeth as soon as possible.
Don’t worry, at Northcote Dental you can relax in our capable hands. Our dentists are experienced with root canal treatments and will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. They will make sure that you tooth is numb with local anaesthetic before starting the process. If you feel any pain at all, let our dentists know, and additional anaesthesia will be applied. Root canals are performed to stop your pain from the infected tooth. Once the procedure is completed, the tooth may be a little sensitive for the first few days but this will settle down soon. Your dentist will advise you on what you can do to reduce any discomfort when it is settling down.
Like all dental and medical treatment, it is never possible to give a 100% guarantee that treatment will be successful. However, research shows that the success of root canal treatment is more than 90% when done well. By performing a root canal, you are giving your tooth the best possible chance of survival. When making the choice to do a root canal, our dentist will advise you on the risks involved with getting a root canal and the likelihood of success for your specific tooth. If they feel a root canal will not have a good chance of success, you may be advised to consider an extraction instead. Together you can make an informed decision on what is the best option for your needs.
The number of appointments and appointment lengths varies depending on the type of tooth and severity of infection. Root canal treatment typically involves 2-3 visits to the dentist, with each visit being 2 weeks apart from each other. At the first visit, your dentist will explain the options available for your tooth, risks involved in treatment and go through the whole process of root canal treatment so you know what to expect. Once you have decided to go ahead with treatment, your dentist will numb the tooth using local anaesthetic so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. The dentist will then remove the nerve and blood vessels in the tooth, clean out the infection, widen the canals in the tooth and place a dressing medication to help reduce pain and infection. A temporary filling will be placed at the end of the appointment to seal the tooth until the next visit. This appointment can be 60-90 minutes. Sometimes this process may need to be done over 2 visits. Once the tooth has settled down and is no longer painful, the final visit can be completed. This involves removing the temporary filling, checking that all infection inside the tooth has cleared and sealing the tooth up with a permanent filling to protect the tooth. At this stage the root canal is completed, however your dentist may recommend to place a crown over the top of the tooth for extra protection.