Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that replaces a tooth’s damaged or infected pulp with a filling. The procedure is also known as endontic treatment.
Why would I need root canal treatment?
If a tooth becomes infected due to decay, trauma, teeth grinding (bruxism) or gum disease, the tooth’s pulp may become infected or damaged.
If left untreated, the infection could spread further, resulting in infection or abscess in the jaw bone, loss of bone in the jaw or loss of the tooth.
Although many patients are concerned at the idea of having root canal treatment, it allows patients to retain a functioning instead of removing the damaged tooth. This means there’s no need for a dental implant or bridge.
What are the symptoms of tooth pulp problems?
Infected tooth pulp will often cause pain, sensitivity or loosening of the tooth. There could also be gum swelling or oozing of pus around the affected tooth or even facial swelling.
If the damaged tooth does not present any symptoms, your dentist will diagnose during your check-up or using x-rays.
How is root canal treatment performed?
North Shore Dentistry performs root canal treatment using modern rotary endodontic equipment, which allows this treatment to be performed in one appointment most of the time.
The dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth, any affected filling and extracts the pulp.
Ozone is used to disinfect the root canals, thereby minimising re-infection and risk of treatment failure. If the tooth is severely infected, treatment may take more than one appointment to ensure the tooth is completely free from infection. The root canal is filled and sealed with a long lasting barrier material.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Root canal treatment is usually performed using a local anaesthetic. North shore Dentistry also offers IV sedation or sleep dentistry whereby you sleep (you are sedated by our anaesthetist) through the procedure. This makes the procedure more tolerable and makes it feel like it only took a few seconds to complete.
What special care or follow up will I need after root canal treatment?
As with natural teeth, treated teeth require good oral hygiene. There may be a change in tooth colour over time. If this is of concern, your dentist can discuss cosmetic options with you.
If you would like to know more about root canal therapy, or to make an appointment, please call us on (02) 9449 9366.
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