ENDODONTIC TREATMENT / ROOT CANAL THERAPY

When the root of a tooth has been damaged by infection or a fracture, endodontics or root canal therapy is often vital in saving that tooth.

Root Canal, Root Canal Therapy or Endodontics is about getting you out of pain and saving your tooth. It refers to a specific type of treatment which is carried out on the nerve of a tooth which is inflamed or infected either by poor oral hygiene, infection, trauma or for no particular reason other than you’re unlucky!

Here at Riversdale Dental, we aim to save every tooth however, there are situations when the damage is irreparable, and the only option is to remove the tooth. Once the gum has healed there are a variety of options for you to fill in the gap: crown and bridge, dentures or implants. These solutions vary considerably in cost and each option has different advanatges. Our experienced dentists can help advise you on which solution best suits your dental needs and budget. 

Why choose Riversdale Dental for root canal treatment?

Based in Camberwell, each of our dentists has over 25 years’ experience. Their knowledge and experience is invaluable in diagnosis and helps in the treatment and delivery of optimal dental health outcomes. Dr Julian Arscott and Dr Annu Phakey have a specific interest in root canal therapy and actively participate in post graduate courses not only to keep their knowledge current but learn about and be comfortable with the technological advances in this area. Dr Arscott is also a member of the Australian Society of Endodontics, ensuring he is familiar with the latest and most effective techniques.

Frequently asked questions about Root Canal Treatment

What makes a root canal necessary?

You’re in pain

The most common causes which result in a root canal becoming necessary are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment or some sort of trauma to the tooth

Typical root canal symptoms include
  • Tooth pain where the intensity of pain can range from mild to severe
  • Tooth pain which can lesson or intensify during the day
  • Spontaneous and unexplained toothache
  • Chronic and often severe toothache
  • Chronic tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Sensitivity to sweet
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Swelling of the gum

If you are suffering any of these symptoms, regardless of whether or not it is a root canal issue, you should make an appointment with our friendly team. Any tooth decay or infection should be treated early.

What happens during a root canal appointment?

The goal is to get you out of pain. This is achieved by removing the trouble making nerve from your tooth. Although only one root of the tooth may be infected and problematic, the nerves of all the roots present in this tooth need to be treated because they are interconnected and unless all roots are dealt with it is highly likely your pain will continue.

Our dentists first remove the pulp from all of the roots. They will often take multiple x-rays during this process to ensure the roots are completely cleared. This is essential as it reduces the chance of an infection returning. Once clear, the roots are re-filled with a rubber type substance and sealed.

Once a root canal is performed on a tooth although it still functions as a tooth, it will no longer have any sensations to hot or cold and since it no longer has a blood supply it can dry out and become brittle making it susceptible to further breakages.

Your tooth will need a permanent restoration (filling or crown) to support the tooth and prevent further damages. To get a root canal without a crown afterward is risky as a repeat of infection or further cracking could mean the tooth is unsalvageable and needs to be extracted.

It can be necessary to have multiple visits to complete the treatment depending on how complicated the root canal is and whether you decide to proceed with a crown.

How much will it cost?

A tooth can have one, or many, roots depending on its position in the mouth: front, back, top or bottom. The number of roots for any tooth can differ greatly between individuals so costs can vary considerably for this reason but our dentists will be able to provide you with a detailed treatment plan and quote once they have viewed your x-rays and observed how many roots there are, how deep they are and how complicated the treatment will be.

Treatment costs can vary from $650 – $1200 per tooth

Root canal or extraction

Tooth extraction is certainly the cheaper alternative but missing teeth can cause many problems ranging from smiling differently to affecting your ability to chew properly. Gaps can cause the jaw bone to shrink in this empty area and can eventually lead to a collapse of the lips and cheeks, aging your appearance. A missing tooth causes many issues and be very expensive to replace.

There are times when your dentist simply can’t save a tooth, and it needs to be removed. This may be the case if you have a very large cavity (hole) which compromises too much of your tooth’s structure or if your tooth has a severe fracture or if there is a crack in your tooth which extends down below the gum.

However the best option, and usually the cheapest in the long term, is to try and save the tooth. Your natural teeth allow you to speak easily and chew all your food without issues. They feel better in your mouth and your jaw bone does not begin to recede.

Root canal vs. extraction can be a difficult choice, but our dentists are very experienced and will discuss all options so you can decide what outcome is best suitable for you and your oral health

Can I return to work immediately after treatment?

Root canal therapy has a reputation for being painful but be reassured, advances in technology now mean this procedure is done with minimal discomfort. Our dentists are very experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of the root canal system and use sophisticated equipment, instruments and materials that make your treatment comfortable and effective.

Immediately after your procedure, it’s normal to feel some pain. This pain can vary from a dull ache to sharp or acute pain and may last a couple of days however, in most instances, you should be able to return to work and manage your discomfort with your usual pain medication.

If your pain is too intense for personal treatment, or if it goes away and then returns, don’t hesitate to call us for advice or come in to see your dentist.

How do I care for a tooth which has had Root Canal?

A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care – root canals have a high success rate.

Helpful hints to look after your newly repaired tooth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Visit the dentist regularly for professional cleaning and thorough check-ups
  • Avoid chewing on hard foods such as ice, nuts and hard confectionary can cause teeth to break and harm root canals.

Start a conversation with our team today to learn more about our practice.

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