Root canal (also called ‘endodontics’, which means ‘inside the tooth’) is a procedure used to treat infection deep in the centre root of the tooth. The infection is caused by bacteria which live in your mouth and invade the tooth as a result of decay, leaky fillings or traumatic damage (like cracks).
Ashfield Dental Centre provides consultation and implementation for root canal procedures in our Ashfield clinic. Our highly trained dental staff are highly experienced in providing dental intervention and can be trusted to deliver quality treatment every time.
How a root canal can help
The root canals of your teeth are home to dental pulp, which produces the dentin which makes up the second layer of your teeth (right below the enamel). If the tooth is damaged in some way (through cavities or trauma), bacteria can enter the deep part of the tooth and attack the pulp.
Root canal procedures are used to preserve the natural tooth when decay has reached its inner pulp. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will remove the infected pulp from the root canal system and replace it with a rubbery substance. This helps to repair the tooth and keep it in tact, which is more ideal than having it replaced with an implant or denture.
signs a root canal might be on the cards
There are a variety of signs you can look for. Some signs to watch out for include:
- Severe toothache/pain (especially when chewing or applying pressure)
- Prolonged sensitivity or pain to hot or cold temperatures
- Discolouration (darkening) of the affected tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring cyst on the gums
However, many people don’t have any symptoms at all and don’t find out that their tooth is in trouble until they see their dentist. That’s why it’s important to get regular dental check-ups – you may not be able to tell when your teeth are becoming damaged, but your dentist can. Your dentist can recognise the early signs of decay and prevent needing a root canal in the first place.
What if I don't act?
It’s important to understand that root canal isn’t just performed to reduce pain: it is a procedure used to treat a disease which can continue to grow if left untreated.
Without a root canal, the infection in the tooth can spread to the gums and other teeth which may then also require treatment. It can also form a painful abscess and the affected tooth will eventually need to be removed and replaced instead of being restored.
Is root canal right for you?
Root canal is a great option for preserving some damaged teeth. However, it is not ideal for everyone. If you have a large cavity that compromises your tooth’s root structure, a severe fracture, a crack which extends below the gumline or if your tooth is otherwise too damaged to receive a successful root canal you may be recommended to undergo tooth extraction and replace it with a denture or implant instead. Book a consultation at Ashfield Dental Centre to find out if root canal is the best course of treatment for you.