Root Canal Therapy

Why Would You Need Root Canal Treatment?

There are two main reasons why you would need a root canal treatment:

The first is infection. Untreated decay is a common cause of pulp infection. The decay erodes the enamel and dentin of the tooth until it reaches the root canal. Bacteria will then infect the pulp. Antibiotics are ineffective as this will only remove the bacteria within the gum and bone leaving the protected bacteria inside the tooth allowing it to reinfect over and over again.

The other reason is due to trauma or a fractured tooth which if large enough can reach the pulp space and can also inflame and damage the pulp. Your dentist will monitor an inflammation to see if it heals alone, however if it remains inflamed this may cause an infection and the dentist at Always Smiles Dental Surgery located near Cabramatta will advise when root canal is the only option of keeping the tooth.

An infection in the pulp can affect the bone around the tooth as well. This can cause an abscess to form which presents in a patients mouth as a swelling in the gum. The goal of root canal treatment is to save the tooth by removing the infected or damaged pulp, treating any infection, and filling the empty root canals with a material to prevent anything re-entering the canal space.

Once a pulp is irreversibly inflamed there is only two options available to the patient, one is root canal therapy which allows them to save the tooth and the second is to extract the tooth. A missing tooth can overstress adjacent teeth as well as not be as aesthetically pleasing. And often the replacement options are much more costly than having root canal therapy.

It is dangerous to ignore infected or injured teeth as the infection will spread to throughout your body.

Having root canal treatment on a tooth does not mean that the tooth will need to be pulled out in a few years. Once a tooth is treated, it almost always will last the rest of your life as long as it is looked after properly.

Signs and Symptoms

Primary symptoms of a pulp infection may be pain. If left untreated the infection will cause swelling and in some cases an abscess will form.

Your tooth might need a root canal if:

  • It hurts when you bite down on it, touch it or push on it
  • It is sensitive to heat
  • It is sensitive to cold for more than a couple of seconds
  • There is swelling near the tooth
  • It is discolored (whether it hurts or not)
  • It is broken

To determine whether your tooth needs root canal treatment, the friendly gentle dentists at Always Smiles Dental Surgery in Canley Heights will often place hot or cold substances against the tooth. The purpose is to see if it is more or less sensitive than a normal tooth. He or she will examine the tissues around the tooth and gently tap on the tooth to test for symptoms.

You also will be given X-rays of the bone around the tooth. The X-rays may show a widening of the space between the tooth and bone showing infection or in more severe infections a dark spot at the tip of the root can sometimes be seen. If either of these is present, your dentist at Always Smiles Dental Surgery located near Cabramatta will probably recommend a root canal therapy in order to save the tooth.

Length of Treatment

The amount of visits required for root canal treatment depends on the severity of the individual case. The location of the tooth, how many root are present as well as the anatomy of the root all play a crucial part in root canal treatment. Infections that have persisted over a long period of time will also be a factor in the length of treatment as well as the chance of success. Your friendly, gentle dentist at Always Smiles Dental Surgery are happy to explain everything during the entire process.

A crown or filling will be placed on the tooth once root canal treatment is completed. It is recommended a crown is placed upon completion as the treated tooth from fracturing which can reinfect the canal space as well as mask any discoloration that is noticeable.