Root Canal

If you’re like most people, the words “root canal” may strike fear in your heart. But what is root canal therapy really like? And is it really as bad as they say?

Root canal therapy is a dental treatment that removes the infection from the inside of a tooth. This is often suggested to prevent a recurrence of infection.

In this blog post, we’ll answer all your questions about root canals and put your mind at ease. So read on to learn more!

root canal treatment everything you need to know (1)

The word “root canal” is not a treatment but rather an important part of the tooth. It is the inner section that holds blood vessels and nerve tissues that is the lifeline of your tooth. When this area becomes infected, it is more likely that your dentist will recommend endodontic treatment or another term for root canal therapy.

This procedure involves removing the infection or inflamed pulp to save it from further damage. The empty space left by removing an infection is filled and sealed. If necessary, the crown, or chewing surface of the tooth, may also be replaced.

Signs You Might Need a Root Canal Therapy

There are instances when an infected tooth shows no symptoms that it needs root canal treatment until it’s severely damaged. However, these are the common symptoms you may need to look out for:

  • Unexpected or sudden tooth pain.
  • You feel a severe toothache when chewing.
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • There’s an abscess or pus around the tooth.
  • Loosening of the tooth.
  • Face or neck swelling.
  • Gum swelling near the damaged tooth that is painful.
  • Tooth discolouration or darkening

Despite the absence of symptoms, the tooth pulp may become infected or damaged. In these situations, the problem is usually discovered through special tests or x-rays performed during a dental check-up or treatment for other dental problems.

Common Problems that Root Canal Therapy Can Fix

Dental professionals perform root canal treatment to address the following oral problems:

  • Severe deep tooth decay.
  • Frequent dental work on a tooth that has caused damage already.
  • Large fillings
  • Cracks on a tooth may be the root cause of bacteria penetrating the hollow centre.
  • Chipping of the tooth.
  • Facial or mouth injuries

All of these issues can cause inflammation and irritation of the pulp tissue and nerves due to gaining access inside of the tooth.

What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?

The treatment may require more than one visit, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Complex cases are when there are curved canals, several canals, or severe infections. Your dentist may choose a different procedure than the one described here. For further information, consult our dentist to discuss your specific case.

Cleaning the root canal

The dentist begins by removing any dental decay or infected parts inside of the root canal.

Once you’re under local anaesthesia, the dentist will make a small access hole on the surface of the tooth. Then, they remove the diseased pulp from any infected parts inside of it. This process is done using very small files.

Shaping the root canal

The canals must be shaped into smooth tunnels free of irregularities that may trap any residue of bacteria. This ensures they are filled properly without re-infecting. Your dentist will use small dental tools, specific cleaning agents, and medication during this shaping procedure. It may take several weeks to months for these solutions to have the most effect on persistent bacteria within the tooth, and this step may have to be done multiple times.

Filling the root canal

The tooth is then filled with a rubber-like material and the canals are completely covered with an adhesive sealant.

The tooth is dead after endodontic therapy. Because the nerve tissue and infection have been removed, you may no longer feel pain in that tooth.

Restoring the full function

Teeth that receive the treatment have often lost significant tooth structure because of deep decay or cracks. Such issues make them more fragile or brittle over time. Hence, additional protection is required.

A large, well-sealed restoration or tooth replacement (known as a dental crown) is placed on the surface to make sure no bacteria can get back into the soft centre of your tooth.

You should not bite or chew on the affected tooth until the placement of the artificial tooth is complete. You can resume your normal activities after having a crown or filling placed.

Estimated Cost of Root Canal Therapy in Mebourne & Burwood

It can be challenging to discuss the actual cost of root canal therapy in Australia. This is because many factors determine the expense of each treatment.
According to the annual national survey fee, the average cost of the treatment in Victoria, Australia may range from the following:

  • Root canal with Filling: $632 – $937
  • Root canals (2) with Crown: $2495 – $3330
  • Root canals (3) with Filling: $1222 – $1743
  • Root canals (4) with Crown: $3085 – $4136

The list above may include the dental X-ray, pulp obturation, crowns or veneers, and biomechanical preparation of the root canal. We can discuss the possible cost of the treatment and payment plans during your consultation.

Can a General Dentist Perform Root Canal Treatments?

General dentists are trained in performing root canal procedures and have the equipment and training needed to complete them successfully. However, in some cases, after your tooth has been assessed, your dentist may refer you to a specialist if the case is complicated or an emergency.

This is true even for those professionals who routinely perform endodontic therapy to ensure the patient will receive proper treatment and prevent complications.

Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

The root canal therapy relieves the severe pain produced by the infection. It is carried out with local anaesthesia to numb your tooth and gums. This is to ensure you will not feel any discomfort during the entire procedure. Generally, the option is to undergo tooth extraction or to suffer from infection, both of which will be painful.

Do You Need a Crown After a Root Canal Therapy?

A root canal may protect a tooth from additional infection, but it does not protect the tooth from deterioration. The procedure has the potential to weaken the tooth due to the amount of tissue needed to be removed in order to save them. Plus the damage caused by decay.

Your teeth in the back of your mouth (premolars and molars) are subjected to a great force of chewing every time you eat. So, generally speaking, they need additional support when they receive root canal treatment. On the other hand, teeth in the front are more prone to tears than crushing, so they may skip the crown following a root canal.

There are other factors that determine if you require a crown following a root canal, such as your oral health, past damage, and if you grind your teeth,

What to Expect After Root Canal Therapy?

After your procedure, your dentist will send you home with guidelines for pain management and how to care for your tooth during your recovery period and until your next appointment. It is important to follow the prescribed aftercare, to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and the condition of your temporary filling or crown.

You may experience swelling and sensitivity for the first few days. A follow-up appointment is always necessary regardless of the side effects or present symptoms.

Possible Risks with Root Canal Theraphy

Root canal treatment is a highly predictable and common procedure. However, like with any medical or dental procedure, you need to always evaluate the risks, complications, and side effects of root canal therapy. Our highly experienced team has been performing procedures like these for years and is able to significantly reduce any possible risks with proper planning. Here are the following potential risks:

Reinfection

This is the most common concern that many root canal patients have prior to treatment. Obviously, if you are having a dental operation to eliminate an infection, you want to know that it was successful. Reinfection is a problem with root canals, but your dentist will take a few steps to make sure it will not happen.

More than the expected number of root canals in a tooth.

The dentist must also ensure that the filling materials reach far enough into the canal to completely fill it. The infection may reappear if the root canal is not fully sealed.

Seal failure

Seal failure is the most common root canal risk. As we mentioned, your dentist will need to seal the access hole inside the tooth. Bacteria will be able to re-enter it if there are any cracks or gaps in the seal.

It may also be possible for a seal to deteriorate. To close up the outer part of the tooth, permanent fillings or crowns will be placed. Though these are designed to endure pressure, they may wear out over time and allow bacteria to reoccur if not properly cared for.

Tooth cracking

Teeth treated with root canals will never be as healthy as they were before the bacterial infection and therapy. Because the tooth virtually dies during the process, with all of the living parts removed, teeth can become quite fragile.

Discolouration

Dental pulp has connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, and some individuals may notice changes in colour in the treated tooth.

This is because when the pulp is removed, the tooth dies. In some instances, the dead roots can be seen through the dentin. However, this only happens in very rare situations.

In the event that complications happen, a specialist can address and treat the problem immediately and complete the root canal.

You should follow your dentist’s advice to prevent any risks of complications. Remember to finish the entire prescription if they prescribe an antibiotic.

How to Take Care of Root Canal Treated Teeth?

Once your dentist advises you to brush your teeth, you should clean and floss them twice a day. However, don’t forget to follow the instructions carefully.

Gentle toothbrushing

It is critical to maintain good oral hygiene. Avoid vigorous brushing because it can put too much stress on the treated tooth and may cause your temporary filling or crown to displace. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss. Do not try to shove the floss between your teeth. Contact your dentist if it does not smoothly glide between your teeth.

Rinse your mouth

Along with brushing and flossing, you can make a mouth rinse with salt and lukewarm water. Mix them and use them to rinse your mouth for several seconds. But avoid rinsing harshly. This can be a great solution to some swelling and can keep your mouth clean from bacteria.

Opt for soft foods

It is quite obvious to choose soft meals after endodontic treatment. Eating crunchy and hard foods can damage the temporary filling or tooth replacement. When this happens, cracks on them will expose sensitive nerves inside your tooth. You can consume soup, but make sure it’s not too hot.

Avoid pressure

We often advise patients to avoid putting too much pressure on the treated tooth right after the root canal. During your healing time, chew on the opposite side until a permanent filling or crown is attached. If you grind your teeth at night, wear a custom-made mouth guard to protect them.

Final Thoughts

A root canal is a type of restorative procedure. Most people who receive the treatment will be able to reap the benefits for the rest of their lives. However, how long the benefits remain depends on how well you care for your teeth.

Your restored tooth, like the rest of your teeth, needs to be cleaned and flossed on a regular basis, just like the rest of your teeth. So it is very important to maintain your oral hygiene habits.

We hope this blog is helpful to you and answers some of your questions about root canal therapy. We always aim to provide as much important dental health information as possible and to ensure that our patients receive safe and efficient dental services.

Burwood Dental Care is a dental clinic located in Burwood, Victoria, Australia. If you’re experiencing spontaneous pain or considering root canal therapy, call our team today at 03 7003 2004.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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As advised by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and Premier Daniel Andrews, it is expected that from 11.59 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021, the current COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for Greater Melbourne.

Lockdown restrictions have now been lifted across Victoria. The Authorised Worker list no longer applies which means that dental practices can return to pre-lockdown settings with no restrictions on patient access to care.

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