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Root Canal Treatment

What is a root canal?

The root canal of a tooth is the inner most part of a tooth connecting the pulp to the roots of the teeth. They contain the nerves and blood vessels and serve to primarily help you sense hot and cold. It is important to note that your teeth can have several root canals in one tooth. The amount of root canals and the type of root canals you have will dictate the root canal treatment required.

What is root canal treatment and therapy?

In the dental industry we also use the term ‘root canal’ to refer to the procedure, or the root canal treatment, or therapy. The purpose of the treatment is to save the tooth and maintain your bone and gum density by removing the nerves and pulp. This process removes infection and prevents further implications

 

 

Causes

These are the two main causes for root canal problems: 
 

Infection

When bacteria reaches the nerve of your tooth and causes infection. This can occur from:

  • Deep decay from poor oral hygiene habits

  • Untreated cracked fillings or cracked teeth

  • Untreated chipped teeth

  • Gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis

Trauma

Root canal pain may also result from

  • A very deep tooth filling which sits too close to the nerve

  • Repeated dental treatments to a tooth

  • Trauma to the face from physical activity, sports, accidents etc.

It is important to note that complications arising from previous dental procedures do not necessarily indicate poor dental practices from your dentist.

 

 

Signs & Symptoms

These are the general signs you may need root canal treatment. You may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Pain when biting or chewing

  • Pain and sensitivity from hot and cold foods and drinks

  • Pain that lingers or throbs for minutes or hours

  • Pain that wakes you while sleeping

  • Pain that worsens or changes when you lay down or sit up

  • Pain that doesn't entirely respond to pain killers

  • A bad taste in your mouth

  • General oral numbness

  • Swelling to the face or jaw

  • Yellow, white or red fistula's visible on the gum

  • Bleeding gums

 

 

Diagnosis

To properly determine if you require root canal treatment there are few things that need to be done first. You will need to answer questions about your symptoms and dental history, undergo an examination so that our dentists can see and test any physical signs of infection and trauma and have x-rays done.

Analysis of your x-rays will help us determine the extent of your infection or trauma and determine the best cause of treatment. At this point we can established a treatment plan, determine a cost for your specific treatment and offer alternative options, if relevant.

It is only after x-rays and an examination can we determine if you need root canal treatment and the cost.

For more information on factors affecting the cost of root canal treatment see our Costs page.

 

 

Procedure

The below scenarios outline the process of laser root canal treatment. The type of treatment you will require will be determined during diagnosis and treatment.

Single Visit Treatment
  1. Local anaesthetic is given to numb the tooth or sedation therapy is administered.

  2. A hole is created in the tooth, reaching down to the root canals where treatment will occur.

  3. Laser assisted therapy is used to clean out the infection from the root canals.

  4. The root canals are flushed and cleansed.

  5. A special root canal filling is inserted in to the root canals and set.

  6. Your tooth is sealed with a temporary crown and ready for dental crown treatment.

  7. Root canal treatment is complete.

Multiple Visit Treatment

Sometimes the root canal infection cannot be removed in one visit. This usually happens when the extent of infection is advanced. In this case further draining of the infection is required, as follows;

  1. A temporary cap is placed on the tooth. This will allow for the infection to be contained and to drain out.

  2. Antibiotics are usually prescribed and instructions for pain management will be advised if relevant.

  3. Your condition should be monitored over several days and our dentists and team will remain in contact with you to check on your progress.

  4. You return for root canal therapy to cleanse the root canals of remaining infection.

  5. A special root canal filling is inserted in to the root canals and set.

  6. Your tooth is sealed with a temporary crown and ready for dental crown treatment.

  7. Root canal treatment is complete.

Follow Up Treatment

After your single or multiple visit treatment is complete you will need a dental crown placed on your tooth. This treatment usually takes two visits, as follows;

  1. A dental resin is used to shape a tooth in place of where your dental crown will go.

  2. An impression, or mould, is made of this tooth and surrounding teeth.

  3. The impression is processed in a dental lab, where your new crown is created. This usually takes 1 - 2 weeks.

  4. You return for your final appointment where your new dental crown is cemented in to place by our dentist.

  5. Dental crown treatment is complete.

Curious to see how the procedure works? Click the button below


 

After procedure care

  • For several days minimise any forceful chewing around the affected area

  • Be sure to brush gently without too much vigour

  • Floss as normal but avoid the area surrounding the affected tooth or teeth

  • Rinse with a mouth wash several times per day for about three days after treatment

  • Should pain worsen or persist, if crowns or temporary fittings comes, please contact us without delay


 

Cost

The cost of our root canal treatment ranges from $550 to $1,450. The total cost can be determined during your initial consultation and examination. There may also be new discoveries made once the procedure has begun, which will also impact the total cost.

The cost of dental crowns are additional. For more detail on the cost of treatment and associated treatments see our Costs page

 

 

ASSOCIATED treatments


Cosmetic Dentistry

 

Dental Crowns

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Dental Implants

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Dental Bridge

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Partial Denture

General Dentistry

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Sedation Therapy (Anxious Patients)

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Dental Bonding (Composites & Temporary Crowns)

Tooth Extraction

 

Dental Hygiene

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Dental Cleaning (Teeth)

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Deep Cleaning (Gums)