Root Canal Treatment is a dental procedure that removes the nerve or dental pulp of the tooth. This is often required when the nerve of a tooth has been damaged by trauma or more commonly tooth decay. Often Root Canal Therapy is the alternative to tooth extraction and often required to retain/save a damaged tooth.
All Dentists are trained in Root Canal Therapy procedures, however patients may also be referred to an Endodontist, a dental specialist who specialises in Root Canal Therapy procedures.
Root Canal Therapy may be required if the nerve or pulp of a tooth has become infected or irreversibly inflamed. Infections and inflammation can occur due to:
- Dental decay
- Dental trauma
- A broken filling or crown
- Extreme wear
- A tooth that has required extensive dental work – can be either acute or chronic in nature
- Severe gum disease
An infected/traumatised tooth can be very painful, and may/may not be associated with swelling which can either be localised or in more severe cases swelling which extends into the surrounding tissues. The tooth is often sore to pressure, for example biting and also to thermal changes. An infected tooth may also cause a level of discomfort that wakes a patient from their sleep and which is not necessarily relieved by analgesics.
Root Canal treatment removes the inflamed or infected pulp from the tooth. As part of the procedure the canal within each root which houses the nerve, is cleaned and prepared to accept a filling material which eventually fills the canals where the nerves were previously. The procedure may take more than one visit and antibacterial dressings may be placed into the tooth in between dental appointments to assist the healing process and to reduce any inflammation and infection.
A temporary filling is used to protect the tooth in between appointments.
Once the root canal therapy is finished your dentist may recommend placing a dental crown over the tooth to assist in protecting the tooth in the longer term.
The cost of Root Canal Treatment will vary according to the number of root canals present in a tooth. All patients will receive a detailed treatment plan and estimate of fees prior to any treatment commencing.
For more information or for an appointment contact your local Pacific Smiles Dental Centre.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.