Who needs root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment allows you to save a decayed, diseased or injured tooth. Your own natural tooth functions better than artificial alternatives. In some cases, artificial teeth may not be possible or are too expensive and having a gap due to taking a tooth out may not be the best option. This is when you may choose to do root canal treatment to save your tooth.
When deciding whether to do root canal treatment, weight up the pros and cons. It is best to discuss these with your dentist because in some cases, the tooth may not be able to be saved even with root canal treatment. If you need a dentist to discuss this with, give us a call at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538. However, should root canal treatment be suitable, it has a very high success rate.
What is pulpal infection or inflammation?
Pulpal refers to the area inside a tooth called the dental pulp. This has nerves and blood vessels and is found in the roots of the teeth. Teeth closest to the front of your mouth have one root canal, whereas molars at the back of the mouth have three or four root canals.
Dental pulp can become inflamed or infected by: having a broken filling or crown, a deep cavity, trauma or cracks through the tooth, gum disease which can spread infection into the adjacent tooth, severe wear through the layers of the tooth or having invasive dental work which can cause pulpal inflammation.
You know you have pulpal infection or inflammation by certain symptoms. These include:
- sensitivity to hot or cold
- discolouring tooth
- swollen gum or abscess
When the pulp is infected or inflamed, you need to do root canal treatment in order to save the tooth. If you wait, the success of root canal treatment starts to drop. In order to ensure the highest success rate, see your dentist as soon as you start to feel symptoms.
The root canal treatment process
A few visits may be required to adequately clean the infected or inflamed dental pulp. This cleaning process involves numbing up the tooth and using instruments to remove the nerve in the tooth. Your dentist will take xrays to ensure they have accessed and cleaned all root canals in your tooth. They will also place medicine inside the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. Once the root canal treatment has been finished, you will need a permanent restoration. Your dentist may recommend a crown to protect and support the tooth.
Is root canal treatment expensive and painful?
Costs of root canal treatment are spread over multiple visits. If this is expensive for you, discuss this with your dentist to try and find a solution. Remember, that saving your own tooth is a valuable investment and your dentist will try and work with you to allow you to keep your own tooth. In general, root canal treatment is usually less expensive than removing a tooth and replacing it with an artificial tooth.
Root canal treatment is not painful. Dental technologies and materials have changed drastically over the last few years. This allows us to use more efficient measures to numb you up and complete treatment as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Are you trying to decide between root canal and extraction? If so read our blog: How to decide between root canal or extraction.
The key to completing root canal treatment as comfortably as possible is to choose a caring and gentle dentist that you trust.
Give our team a call at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538.