A root canal procedure can make many people feel apprehensive, yet with modern dental techniques, it is a relatively simple treatment that can improve your overall dental health. When you do need to undergo a root canal procedure, a professional and trusted clinic such as Beyond Infinity Dental can guide you through the process and provide compassionate treatment.
What is a Root Canal?
You will require a root canal procedure when your dentist wants to save a tooth that has become badly decayed or infected. Root canal treatment involves your dentist removing the tooth’s nerve and pulp prior to cleaning and sealing the treated tooth.
There is a natural cavity within each of your teeth, and this cavity is referred to as the ‘root canal’. Both the pulp and nerve are housed in a tooth’s root canal. The primary aim of your dentist when carrying out root canal treatment is to save the affected tooth and your smile.
How Do I Know I Might Need a Root Canal?
Several signs may indicate you need a root canal procedure, but the only way to be certain is to book an appointment with your dental health professional so they can carry out a full examination. Common symptoms which may indicate root canal problems include:
- Extreme, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
- Pain when eating food
- Discoloured tooth
- Surrounding gum area which is inflamed, tender, or painful
- A small pimple appearing on your gum
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, then you may need root canal work and should make an appointment for an examination immediately.
What is Involved in Root Canal Treatment?
In most cases, the root canal procedure itself can be completed in one appointment. But in some cases, such as with a severe infection, it may take up to three visits to your dental clinic.
The first stage is to x-ray the affected area so your dentist can see the extent of the infection and decide how best to proceed.
The next part of your root canal therapy is to prepare the tooth. This involves a local anaesthetic.
Your dentist then places a rubber dam around the affected tooth to keep it dry from saliva.
The main part of your root canal procedure begins with your dental surgeon drilling a small chamber in the outer enamel layer of the tooth. This gives them access to the infected nerve. They then use a special endodontic rotary file to remove the damaged areas. Modern endodontic files are far more flexible than traditional files, allowing them deeper access into the awkward curves of your root canal so the treatment is even more successful and it is less likely you will require retreatment. This also means that the procedure is more efficient and comfortable for the patient.
Once all damaged and infected tissue has been removed, your dentist cleans and sterilises the tooth root to ensure nothing is left behind which may lead to further infection. Once they have completed this stage, they will fill and seal the tooth using a special rubber compound. This protects the root canal from future infections.
In many cases, your dentist may complete your root canal procedure by adding a crown to the tooth to give it added strength and function as well as improving the appearance.
What Happens After the Procedure?
Once your anaesthetic wears off, you may experience a little discomfort, but this will usually be mild and can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications.
Your dentist will offer specific post-root canal procedure care advice based on your circumstances. But the main advice to follow is to rest and avoid chewing with the tooth for a few days.
You may experience a different sensation in your treated tooth than the rest of your teeth for a few days following the procedure. However, if you notice any persistent swelling, severe discomfort or an uneven bite, contact your dentist immediately.
The staff at Beyond Infinity Dental Practice comprises of a team of highly-skilled and qualified dental professionals across a range of disciplines, with extensive experience in carrying out root canal procedures.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms that may indicate root canal treatment is required, then we encourage you to make an appointment with one of our professionals as soon as possible. You can book an appointment via our website contact form, or you can call us direct on (02) 8806 3799.