Root Canal Therapy
It is our goal to help you preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime. A root canal treatment can do this by removing the pain, sensitivity and swelling associated with an infected tooth.
Root canal therapy is needed when the pulp (the nerve) of a tooth becomes infected with bacteria. The cause of this is often decay or the presence of a crack in the tooth, but it could also be caused by severe trauma or periodontal (gum) problems.
Although in some cases you may not have any symptoms, common signs of an infected tooth can include:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Pain on biting or application of pressure
- Generalised swelling
- Bad taste and breath
- Pus draining from a lump (like a pimple) on the gum
- Discolouration of the tooth
The Root canal procedure sterilises the inside of the tooth and can require several treatment appointments before this space can be sealed up to prevent further infection. After a root canal procedure has been performed, the tooth often requires a crown to help seal and protect the tooth from future decay and fracture.
Despite our best efforts Root Canal Therapy can fail. It may be due to the tooth having a crack that cannot keep the bacteria out, it may be an anatomical issue where the root canals are so fine and branched that they are impossible to clean out and seal completely, occasionally a file can become lodged in a root canal and adversely affect the seal, if the gums and surrounding bone are unsound, or it may be there is so little solid tooth remaining the tooth isn't viable to save. Success rates are usually around 90% or higher for front teeth. As a general rule the further back in the mouth a tooth is, the harder it is to treat successfully because of poor access and multiple root canals.
An Endodontist is a dentist who is specialised in Root Canal treatment and occasionally we will refer patients to these specialists.
Pulpotomy is the partial removal of the nerve tissue and can sometimes be enough to settle the tooth in the short to medium term, until full RCT can be performed.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of an infected tooth, give our team a call for a consultation.