What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment, may be a solution for you if you are looking to save a tooth where the pulp has been compromised due to carious lesion (tooth decay), an infection, or another oral issue such as dental trauma.
The pulp is located within the centre of your tooth and within the centre of each root of a tooth. It is the soft area which contains:
- Blood vessels
- Connective tissue
These key components help the root of your tooth to grow and flourish during its development. Therefore, if the pulp is damaged or becomes infected mainly with bacteria, an infection may spread beyond the confines of the root.
The aim of root canal treatment is to remove the damaged pulp tissue and reduce bacterial presence inside the canals so that your tooth does not have to be removed. It helps to restore your tooth so that it can function naturally again.
What happens if I leave an infected root canal untreated?
If you leave a root canal untreated you may risk your whole tooth being extracted or be exposed to other issues that may affect your oral health such as:
- Chipped tooth
- Worsening of carious lesion (tooth decay)
- Enhanced pain from your tooth
- Risk of an abscess forming
- Tooth sensitivity
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult with your dentist immediately or at your next appointment. Your dentist will be able to advise the best course of action to take to treat your condition.
What are the stages of a root canal treatment?
Step 1: Consultation
- Assessment of your medical history, dental history and chief complaint
- Clinical assessment of the area/tooth
- Explanation of what the procedure entails, what to expect before, during and after the procedure
- Costs involved with treatment
- Need of referral to a registered specialist (Endodontist)
Step 2: Second appointment
- Treatment commences with local anaesthetic to numb the area, followed by placement of a rubber dam to isolate the tooth from the rest of your mouth.
- Access to the pulp chamber and canal(s) for cleaning purpose and sealing of canals with a final root filling (root canal treatment). However, sometimes it is necessary a subsequent visit(s) to complete treatment. Your dentist will inform you if necessary.
It is important to remove all carious lesion (tooth decay) and any defective restorations prior to root canal treatment. It makes sure tooth holds a strong, sound structure.
Temporary fillings may be necessary in between visits to avoid recontamination of canals. It would happen if the tooth was left open.
Root canal treatment is not 100% successful however the success rates are very high if treatment is done well in the first place and the tooth is not left unattended to for too long (it may cause the canals to become heavily infected, therefore lowering success rates).
It is essential to protect the tooth with a full crown after the treatment is completed.
After your treatment your dentist will provide you with recommendations on how to manage any pain you may feel and how to take care of your tooth.
It is important to see you dentist 6 months after root canal treatment to review the tooth and 12 months thereafter for about 3 years.
You should contact your dentist immediately if you experience any issues such as:
- Severe and spontaneous pain
- Pain on pressure
- Or if any symptoms you experience before your treatment return
Root Canal Treatment on the Gold Coast
Are you experiencing any symptoms of the symptoms of a damaged root canal or wanting to know more information?
If you would like to know more or book in for a consultation, you can contact one of our friendly practices today. One of our experienced dentists will be able to help you restore your tooth it its natural glory.
Alternatively, you can book an appointment online 24/7.