Root Canal Therapy
The root canal has long had a bad reputation as a painful dental procedure, and most people dread hearing the words “you need a root canal.” The truth is that the root canal procedure is relatively painless—no worse than getting a filling—and actually alleviates pain rather than causes it. Millions of people avoid extraction each year thanks to this tooth-saving dental procedure.
The team at Katoomba Dental Centre, your Blue Mountains local dentist, provides effective root canal therapy that eliminates toothache pain and gives you back the form and function of your infected tooth.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
If you have toothache pain that goes from bad to worse in just a few days, you might have a tooth infection that needs root canal therapy. But sometimes, you may have no symptoms, and a dental x-ray will reveal that there is a problem. Often if you have a filling or crown that has broken down, a crack or chip in a tooth, or extensive dental work to a tooth, a root canal might be needed.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- Pain that is worse when you bite down
- Sudden sensitivity to hot or cold at the site of a specific tooth
- Discoloured gums near the site
- A small, white bump that forms on the gums
What Does the Procedure Entail?
The first order of business by your dentist is an examination and possibly an x-ray of the affected area. If a root canal is deemed necessary because of infection or inflammation, your dentist will thoroughly numb the area, so you are comfortable during the procedure. Next, he or she will create an opening in the tooth using special tools to remove the pulp within the root of the tooth.
The pulp is the living portion deep inside the tooth made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. A fully developed tooth can function normally without a pulp if root canal therapy has been successful.
After your dentist has cleaned, enlarged and shaped each root, medicines to reduce inflammation and bacteria may be put inside the canals. If an abscess has formed at the root tip, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Your dentist will probably recommend a crown after treatment. A tooth that has undergone root canal treatment may have a higher risk of fracture after treatment and an artificial crown assists in further protecting the tooth structure and extending the life expectancy of the tooth. Posts are inserted inside the tooth if it lacks enough structure to support an artificial crown. After the crown is in place, you will have full function of the tooth.
Will I Be in Pain after Treatment?
The worst of your pain should subside immediately after this tooth-saving treatment, although the area might feel tender for a few days.
If you are experiencing toothache and want to learn more about root canals, we invite you to contact our Katoomba, NSW dental surgery for more information.