Let's Get To The Guts Of It!

Root canal treatment is a serious dental solution.  It is needed when the nerve of the tooth has been compromised.  What happens commonly is a large area of deep tooth decay allows bacteria to infect the nerves of the tooth.  Nerves can also die after direct trauma or accumulated trauma from repeated dental treatment.  When this starts to happen you are going to know about it fairly quickly and all the time.

Your body will let you know things are wrong by giving you lingering pain especially when eating or drinking cold things.  You may notice gum swelling next to the tooth which is an indication that infection has spread to surrounding bone and gum.  In very extreme cases, you may notice swelling in the cheek or palate next to the tooth.  This is a sign of major infection.  If you notice pain when biting or touching the tooth, you likely have an abscess or sac of infection around the roots of the tooth.

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Getting to The Root of the Problem!

In the centre of a tooth is a root canal system that houses the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth.  When a tooth’s root canal system becomes traumatised, it must be removed in order for the tooth to be saved.  The root canal system is accessed through the chewing surface or the back of the tooth.  The root canal system is cleaned out using special instruments, disinfectants and medications.  The root canal system is then filled up to prevent further infection.

A tooth’s root canal system is very complex and may consist of several passageways which take time to negotiate so there is usually the need for 2 to 3 appointments.  Time is also required for disinfectants and medications to have optimal effect.  The root canal system cannot be seen with the naked eye so there is a need to take radiographs (x-rays).  Several radiographs may be taken to ensure the progress of treatment.  We take care to do everything we can to ensure your comfort during the process.

This Sounds Like It Will Hurt

When we perform root canal treatment we take every possible step to ensure your comfort.  This is a serious procedure for serious dental issues.  If left untreated, you will experience real long term pain and end up losing the tooth.  Here are the benefits of root canal treatment:

  • Relief of pain and other symptoms
  • Removal of severe infection
  • Removal of tooth decay and dead nerve tissue
  • Saving your original tooth
  • Avoiding tooth extraction
  • Preventing further problems

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Capping Off the Treatment!

After root canal treatment, the tooth usually requires a crown.  A tooth that requires root canal treatment is usually badly broken down or has had a lot of dental work with little good tooth structure remaining.  Although root canal treatment saves a tooth, removal of the root canal system leaves a tooth more brittle and prone to injury.  A crown protects the remaining tooth structure and helps prevent reinfection of the root canal system.

A tooth in which the root canal system is not alive or no longer present may discolour and become darker over time.  If a crown is required for the tooth, the crown will hide any discolouration.  If the tooth does not require a crown, the discolouration may be reversed through tooth whitening.  The alternative option to root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth.  In most cases if tooth extraction is selected, replacement of the lost tooth with an implant, bridge or denture needs to be considered after extraction to prevent undesirable effects on the remaining healthy teeth.

Root Canal Treatment FAQs:

As a dentist, when we tell a patient they need a root canal treatment, they are usually full of questions.  However, root canal treatment in many cases can be straight forward and painless, and there is no need to worry.  Root canal causes include damage to the nerve of the tooth by bacteria or trauma.  Root canal symptoms include severe toothache, pain to touch or put pressure on the tooth, and a swollen gum next to the tooth.  Hence, in regards to starting the root canal procedure, time is of the essence.  The root canal treatment steps include cleaning out the damaged tooth nerve, disinfecting it and filling the empty space.  A root canal and a crown go hand in hand.  A crown is often needed after a root canal treatment to protect the tooth from breaking and becoming infected again.  What are the root canal treatment side effects?  With root canals, is there pain after the procedure?  Generally, doing the root canal treatment gets you out of pain more than the root canal treatment causes you pain.  There may be some discomfort after draining a large infection, but in many cases there is little discomfort after a root canal treatment as there are no longer nerves in the tooth.  At our Brisbane CBD dental clinic, our dentists do root canal treatments all the time to relieve severe pain and infections that are too late to be treated by a large dental filling.  Of course, the dentist will try for a dental filling first if there is a good chance of this working.