Root Canal Therapy
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, also known as Endodontic Therapy, is the process where a damaged tooth is “saved” with the treatment of a tooth’s infected pulp.
The pulp of a tooth is the nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities that inhabit the centre of the tooth. The process of Root Canal Therapy involves the removal of the infected nerve tissues and medicament placed inside. The canals are then shaped, cleaned and decontaminated with small files and irrigating solutions, before finally filling the now decontaminated canals with an inert filling, such as a special cement and gutta percha material.
Root canal therapy is typically used to save a tooth that would otherwise degrade and require removal. If left untreated, an infected pulp within a tooth can cause pain, further infections within the mouth, and eventually reach the point where removal will be the only option. For this reason, we recommend that the need to perform root canal therapy be identified and then performed early. If however the decay has been unattended to the decay can reach the nerve inside the tooth and cause severe pain, sleepless nights and sometimes even swellings. Root canal therapy is a very effective way to remove the pain caused by such a scenario.
It’s a term that has certain frightening connotations – after all, no one reports enjoying a root canal therapy treatment. But it doesn’t need to be as scary or intimidating as the procedure’s reputation would have you believe, and there have been great innovations made over the past 20 years that has meant that for experienced dentists, root canals are better optimised and more efficient now than ever before. Our friendly and experienced team at Parramatta and Cabramatta Dental Studio have years of experience saving people’s teeth through this standard procedure, and we pride ourselves in providing sound advice in preserving your full smile. Please call 9633 9835 if you have any enquiries or concerns, or would like further information about what treatment is right for you.
After we have determined that a root canal is necessary, we will take x-rays during treatment, as these are required to check the progress of the procedure during its course as well as to measure the length of your root canal.
At Parramatta and Cabramatta Dental Studio we endeavour to make the process as pain free as possible. The tooth is completely anaesthetised with a local anaesthetic during treatment. It’s normal to experience some discomfort after the appointment due to an inflammation in the surrounding tissues, and sometimes a mild analgesic is required. However, the discomfort should be gone within a few days, and our team will always be on hand to address any follow-up concerns you have.
Following the procedure it is likely that the tooth will last for a long time. The vast majority of root canal therapies are successful, however, if there are any complications we will discuss the next steps with you accordingly.
It may also be the case that a filling or cap (porcelain crown) is necessary after the treatment to restore the tooth to its original shape and function. This tooth will still be susceptible to decay or gum disease, so it’s important to continue to look after it after the treatment.
Alternatives to Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy isn’t always the answer. Your friendly experts at Parramatta and Cabramatta Dental Studio will be happy to walk through with you whether root canal therapy is the right solution for you on a first meeting.
For example, if there has already been extensive loss of the tooth structure, root canal therapy won’t be able to save the tooth. In such an instance, extraction of the tooth will likely be the only treatment option. At Parramatta and Cabramatta Dental Studio we also have many options for tooth replacement, if the tooth cannot be saved. Options include dentures, crown and bridgework as well as dental implants. Please read our blogs on dental implants and extractions in the older population.
It may also be in some cases that despite feeling tooth pain, a root canal treatment is unnecessary. This is not to say that you should wait it out, however your friendly Parramatta or Cabramatta-based dentist will be in the best position to provide advice on whether the treatment is necessary or not.