Endodontics – Root Canal
At Totally Smiles, part of our job in delivering excellent dental care to all Australians is to debunk old myths surrounding dentistry and certain dental procedures such as root canal treatments. Our innovative and modern technology, partnered with our “no surprises” approach to your treatment, work hand in hand to provide you with exceptional dental care.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment (endodontic treatment) fixes problems with a tooth’s soft core or dental pulp. Dental pulp lies within the tooth, extending from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root. It contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood and lymph vessels which provide oxygen, nutrients, and feeling to the tooth. It also regulates the growth and development of the tooth during childhood.
Root canal treatment involves removing inflamed, diseased, or dead pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals of a tooth and replacing it with a filling in order to prevent the tooth from being extracted.
When is root canal treatment necessary?
Root canal treatment is recommended in cases of:
- infection caused by deep decay or a large filling
- advanced gum disease
- trauma, such as a blow to a tooth or constant striking of a tooth by teeth on the opposite jaw
- a fracture in the tooth, allowing bacteria to enter
- teeth grinding
The symptoms of damaged, diseased, or inflamed dental pulp requiring root canal treatment include:
- pain and pressure at the site of the tooth
- hot and cold sensitivity
- mobility of the tooth
- swelling and tenderness in the gums surrounding the tooth
- discolouration or darkening of the tooth
- the presence of pus at the site of the tooth
- facial swelling
A diagnosis for root canal treatment is made on the basis of symptoms reported by the patient, an examination of the tooth, and x-rays of the tooth.
What are the benefits?
The main aim of root canal treatment is to save a tooth that would otherwise be extracted. Retaining natural teeth is considered the best solution from a dental perspective and prevents the need for replacement teeth, which can be time-consuming, painful, and costly.
If a tooth requiring this type of treatment is ignored, widespread gum and connective tissue infection may result, as well as loss of the tooth. It is advisable to visit us at the first sign of any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Is it painful?
This is probably the biggest myth surrounding root canal treatments. In reality, it’s your tooth that hurts, and it hurts because of the infection or decay. We make sure the area around your tooth is thoroughly numb even before we start working. You might feel some pressure or discomfort during the actual procedure or some pain afterwards once the anaesthesia has worn off, but we are always respectful and sensitive to our customers’ unique needs and strive to make you feel as comfortable and at ease as possible.
For more information about root canal treatment, contact your local Totally Smiles practice, or book an appointment online now.