Having a root canal can save a tooth that is infected or dead, and it can prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of your mouth. Let’s take a closer look at a root canal procedure and what you can expect from this endodontic treatment.
What Is A Root Canal And Why Is It Performed?
Each one of your teeth has pulp inside of it. The pulp provides your teeth with nutrients, oxygen and nerves, but it can die if it becomes damaged or diseased.
Root canal treatment is the process of cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping your tooth canal, before filling the canals up. Your dentist will cover the treated tooth with a crown to make it stronger.
A tooth may need saving because
- You have untreated or deep dental decay
- You have dental decay under a filling
- You have had a trauma that has caused damage to your tooth
- You have a habit like teeth grinding that has caused gradual wear and tear
- You have cracks in your teeth
- You have advanced gum disease
Why It Is Important To Treat The Infection
Once the dental pulp has been damaged bacteria will multiply, causing an infection. This can result in the development of an abscess, a pocket of diseased material that accumulated at the end of your tooth’s root.
If the infection spreads further, it may reach your jaw bone and start to erode it.
In the event that the infection remains untreated you may need to have your tooth removed, impacting on your quality of life. Having treatment may protect your natural teeth and prevent you from future dental complications.
What Can You Expect From The Root Canal Procedure?
Your dentist will take an x-ray of your mouth to assess your root canals, and to see if you have an infection in the bone surrounding your tooth.
Before getting to work your dentist will first numb the area with local anaesthetic. Then he or she will drill a hole into your decayed tooth in order to remove the dental pulp.
Your dentist will use a special instrument to remove all the debris and re-shape the canals.
It might be necessary for you to return for more than sitting. It is important that all traces of bacteria are removed, otherwise it is possible to develop another infection.
Smoothed out, hollow tooth canals are less likely to hold bacteria so it is important that time and care is taken to smooth them out fully.
Once this is done, your dentist will fill the canal up with filling material to prevent reinfection.
How Much Does Root Canal Therapy Cost?
The root canal treatment cost will depend on the number of canals you need to have filled, and whether you need a crown. Your dentist will be able to give you an accurate estimate once he or she has assessed your mouth and taken some x-rays.
According to the results of smile.com.au’s 2017 National Dental Fee Survey having the treatment without a crown could cost in the region of between $2000 and $3400. Having a molar root canal on three canals could cost between $2760 and $4760, depending on if you need a crown.
finder.com.au cites similar figures of between $2000 and $3500 for a root canal without a crown.
How Do You Know If You Need Root Canal Therapy?
In some cases it is possible to need root canal therapy but not present with any signs of an infection. In other cases, some of the most common signs and symptoms include
- Darker tooth colour
- Unexplained pain
- Intense toothache when you chew
- Tender or swollen gums
- Swelling in your neck or face
- Loose teeth
- Pimples on your gums or a hole in your tooth
- Sensitivity to cold and hot that persists after the source of the temperature has been removed
Is It Painful?
The majority of patients find the procedure is no more painful than having a filling.
What Can You Expect After Treatment?
You will care for your treated tooth in the same way as the rest of your teeth, with twice daily brushing and flossing. Regular visits to your dentist will help to spot the early signs of tooth decay and ensure old fillings are replaced on time. With proper care there is no reason that your restored tooth can’t last for the rest of your lifetime.
Early intervention is very important for a successful root canal treatment. Don’t suffer in silence; please contact us as soon as possible for an appointment and treatment: (02) 8776 3232.