Root Canal Therapy
Injuries or infections inside a tooth can kill its nerve, creating excruciating pain during the process. Not always are we ready to take this bad tooth out. If appropriate, we can perform root canal therapy which provides your tooth an opportunity to stay in service for longer. Root canal therapy sterilises the inside of the tooth to rid of the bad bacteria and infections. Once a root canal therapy is completed we strongly recommend a crown to protect what is left of the tooth. Unfortunately not every tooth with a bad infection can be saved from root canal therapy, but we will do all that we can to save your tooth.
Within each tooth, dental pulp is present. It is composed of connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves, providing the tooth with a supply of nutrients and protection. In some cases, pulp tissue may be infected by bacteria or decayed debris, causing an abscessed tooth.
Abscess, a pocket of pus, can spread past the ends of the tooth’s root and cause swelling to the face, neck or head, as well as bone loss at the tip of the root. Causing mild to severe pain, root canal treatment is the best way to save the tooth and prevent further spread of infection.
Root canal therapy is a procedure used to repair a damaged tooth by removing the infected or inflamed pulp and replacing it with a filling. Known as an endodontic treatment, the procedure involves drilling into the affected tooth and removing dental pulp which resides within the soft centre.
Once all the bacteria, debris and pulp are removed, the canal space is permanently filled and is sealed helping to prevent further reinfection of the tooth.
Common symptoms that show that a tooth needs root canal therapy include:
- Severe pain during biting or chewing
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Tooth discoloration
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Swollen or tender gums
- Swelling of face or neck
Sometimes there are no symptoms or little experiences of pain. This is usually because the pulp has already necrosed, resulting to complications such as:
- Localised bone loss, or
- Loss of tooth
An abscess may still be present despite the tooth not hurting.
In cases of tooth injury caused by accidents or sports injury, neighbouring teeth may suffer additional, unnoticed injury which can only be detected by a dental exam. It is important to see a dentist after experiencing injury, even if there are no visible chips or cracks.
As the anaesthetic wears off, there will usually be tenderness surrounding the area and mild soreness in the jaw for the next following days. During this time, it is important to take medications as prescribed as there will be temporary experiences of sensitivity and discomfort.
After root canal therapy, when the tooth is deemed to be stable and not reinfected, a crown is recommended to further strengthen the tooth as the tooth will become more brittle and fragile afterwards root canal therapy.
Depending on which tooth is being treated and the number of canals required to be cleaned by your dentist. The average root canal cost in Sydney can range from approximately $1000 to $1500 or even more without a crown.
It is recommended you find a dental practice that not only offers an affordable cost of treatment but is able to provide toy quality care.
If you are interested or looking at having root canal therapy treatment, it is advised you book a consultation with our Dentists to give you a detailed treatment plan for your needs.
Some reasons for root canal include when bacteria has compromised the tooths nerve, from a break in the tooth surface via a cavity or crack, or the nerve of the tooth can necrose due to impact from trauma. By taking care of your teeth you can help prevent these incidents from occurring.
- Brushing at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day
- Wearing mouth guards to prevent sports-related injury
- Regular dental check-ups
- Limiting consumption of sugary foods and drinks
Pre-op: Deep decay underneath old restoration. Previously un-monitored and the tooth was in excruciating pain. Large shadow underneath the opaque white mass is the decay, and at tip of the tooth root is a dark shadow which suggests a zone of infection. The tooth can be saved with a carefully performed root canal therapy and avoid the loss of the tooth.
Measurement: The root canal therapy is essentially the treatment to rid infection inside the pulpal/nerve space within the tooth, and to seal the tooth from further reinfection into the root tip of the root. This needs to be performed very carefully and should always have a “rubberdam” isolation field to avoid the re-introduction of bacteria from within the mouth into the canal spaces. Without rubberdam, the treatment is considered compromised. In this image the dentist has used a clamp to lock the rubberdam to the tooth and is measuring the sealing length for the final root filling.
Post-op: A well-obturated/filled root canal therapy. The tooth is symptom-free and will have a crown placed on it to seal the tooth from any potential fracture and decays in it. Studies have shown a well-placed dental crown can provide superior seal and, if possible, should always be placed on the tooth after the root canal therapy is completed with the tooth being symptom-free.
Temporary restoration of teeth that are receiving root canal therapy. Note that these temporary restorations are weak and prone to chipping.
Careful restoration of the teeth with crowns. The teeth have added strength and aesthetics. At Hornsby Dental we carefully select our dental lab to ensure high quality work.