Root Canal Therapy
Nobody likes hearing they need a root canal… Yet the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be if the time comes. At Kariong Dental Care, we’ll aim to make the treatment as comfortable as possible.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a treatment for an infected tooth. The most common cause for an infected tooth is a deep cavity that has progressed deep within the tooth.
When the infection spreads within the tooth to the ‘dental pulp’—the soft tissue within your tooth’s roots – inflammation occurs. This inflammation often causes pain that aches spontaneously or flares up with hot foods and drinks.
Root canal treatment is the procedure of removing the infected dental pulp of the tooth, cleaning out the inside of the tooth and sealing it for protection.
The main goal of the procedure is to minimise further damage to the infected or decayed tooth as a means of preserving it, to avoid the need for tooth extraction and permanent tooth loss.
Aren’t Root Canal Treatments Painful?
For some people, the term “root canal” is associated with the feeling of intense pain. This has been wrongly interpreted to suggest the treatment procedure as the main contributor of the pangs. It doesn’t help the cause that root canals are performed on patients who have an irritated or inflamed nerve, which unfortunately in many cases, translates to excruciating pain for the sufferer.
In reality, the bulk of the pain that a root canal patient feels has more to do with the condition itself than the treatment. Root Canal treatments actually play a critical role in restoring health and function to a severely decayed tooth. The procedure is no more painful than any other dental treatments but in fact, helps to relieve the pain while preventing further – and permanent – destruction to the tooth.
The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, so the tooth is entirely numb. It is less traumatic than removing a tooth.
At Kariong Dental Care, our dentists take a comprehensive approach to the root canal treatment. By integrating modern techniques like pain-free dentistry into our treatment protocols, we are able to ensure safe and minimally invasive care for all our root canal patients.
How do I know if I need a Root Canal Treatment?
There are many signs that may indicate the need for root canal treatment. While it is true that some patients exhibit little or no symptoms at all, there are tell-tale signs that may suggest problems are lying in the deeper parts of your tooth.
Here are some of the signs that you may require a root canal:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
- Tooth becomes darkened or discoloured
- Toothache due to biting, chewing or other forms of pressure on the tooth
- Recurring abscess or pimples on the gums
- Gum swelling
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact Kariong Dental Care on (02) 4340 2022.
What does the process involve?
There are three main steps in a root canal. The first one is to remove the nerve inside the tooth, the second is to clean and shape the root canal. Lastly, a root canal filling is placed inside the tooth, where the nerve used to be. The tooth is never taken out of your mouth.
What if I don’t have the procedure?
The other option to having a root canal is to remove the tooth. If you choose to do neither, the body will not be able to remove the infection and will be constantly fighting against the germs. A long-term infection can develop into a swelling and the pus may spread to important parts of your head and neck.
How do I care for my tooth afterwards?
A back tooth that has had a root canal treatment will generally require protection from cracking or breaking. This may involve a crown. A crown afterwards can help prevent re-infection of the tooth after root canal treatment.