Saving Teeth: Root Canal Treatment

Decay, disease or injury can lead to a damaged tooth that needs saving. Millions of teeth every year are saved from extraction by having successful root canal treatment.

Every week we advise clients about the process, benefits, risks and limitations of root canal treatment. To provide advice on the best action for any individual, we undertake a comprehensive medical history review, examine the tooth, used x-rays (taken onsite) – and we act very swiftly to manage pain and complete the root canal treatment.

During most procedures a local anaesthetic is all that is need to block pain. However for those clients who are very anxious we can usually offer Twilight Sedation (sleep dentistry).

We isolate the tooth with a thin sheet of latex and keep it clean and dry during the treatment. Using our specialist dental drills and files we are able to remove inflamed or infected pulp. If required we use anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial medicines in the root canal to help stop inflammation and infection. If there is a severe abscess we may need to prescribe antibiotics. In a small number of cases, the end of the root may need to be removed to help treat an abscess.

If the root canal treatment requires several visits for completion, a temporary filling will protect the inside of the tooth between procedures. We tailor pain relief treatments for each individual case to ensure that our clients are comfortable.
Completion of root canal treatment may sometimes require a post to be inserted in the tooth if it lacks structure. Filling the root canals and sealing the pulp chamber ensures the inside of the tooth is fully protected and ensures no further infection.
An artificial crown is usually required and will be fitted soon after root canal treatment. At Smile Forever Dental we recommend either a porcelain or gold crown to protect, strengthen and further seal the tooth. This restores occlusion, which is the way the upper and lower teeth contact during biting and chewing.

Can teeth always be saved?

In some cases, root canal treatment cannot save a tooth. Success depends on your health, age, capacity to heal, oral hygiene and specific factors relating to the actual tooth – particularly the amount and strength of the remaining tooth structure.

Pro’s and Cons of Root Canal Treatment

  • If there has been infection in a damaged tooth this is likely to be completely resolved once treatment is undertaken.
  • In some cases discolouration may occur in the treated tooth. This can be treated in most cases by bleaching, an artificial crown or veneer.
  • Generally the tooth won’t be as strong and durable as a ‘normal’ tooth. A crown on the back molars will help strengthen these.
  • During and after treatment the tooth may feel a little different, however this gradually disappears.
  • Months or years down the track some patients may suffer pain or infection, however this is usually caused by further deep decay, trauma, a cracked tooth or cracked filling that has allowed bacteria to enter the tooth.

At Smile Forever Dental we use proven products that minimise risks and really care about our clients. Ask us for information on our procedures and why we recommend them. We strive to provide the best dental treatment available using the latest techniques, most up to date equipment and best dental materials. We are known for our down to earth and completely transparent approach.

We would love to see you. Book your appointment with us on (08) 9321 6877.