Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy, also technically called as Endodontic treatment, can help you save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted as a result of infection.

Here at Perfect Smile in Adelaide we always stress the importance of regular check-ups every six months in order to detect and prevent dental issues from developing.

Some patients who present with tooth ache and subsequently need an extraction could have visited us sooner and saved their tooth with root canal therapy.

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root Canal Therapy, known technically as endodontic treatment, is a treatment of the pulp of the tooth that is inflamed, infected or dead.  The pulp chamber, which sits in the centre of the tooth, consists of nerve, arteries, veins, lymph and connective tissue.  The canal nerves continue down canals that extend through the roots of teeth and into the surrounding bone.

Once the root canal is treated, the pulp chamber and canals of the tooth are filled and sealed to prevent bacteria from entering.  This can eliminate any pain and discomfort you may have experienced, and can restore health to your tooth.

Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy should not cause any more discomfort than a regular filling.  Thanks to advancements in dental technology coupled with topical numbing gels, you can now receive dental treatment you require without fear!  There are always rare exceptions where pain may be felt in the initial appointment depending on the severity of the infection however every step will be taken to minimise pain.

When is root canal required?

A tooth generally will require a root canal treatment if it has become infected by caries and infection or if the tooth has a fracture or damaged by trauma.  The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth when:

  • The tooth has a deep cavity
  • There is breakdown of the tooth/filling/crown
  • Trauma occurs
  • Gum disease is present
  • The tooth is cracked
  • The tooth has had extensive or repeated dental work

At Perfect Smile we can determine the level of damage after conducting a full mouth examination to assess the infected tooth.

If you are starting to notice a dark colouring on your tooth, if your old fillings are starting to deteriorate, or if your teeth are becoming increasingly sensitive to hot and/or cold, you may need a root canal treatment. The darkened colour is an indication that your tooth is dying, caused by the lack of Oxygen to the tooth’s nerves, and the sensitivity you are experiencing is because these nerves are exposed when they should be protected. When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, root canal treatment can save your tooth.

Oral maintenance is the key to long term success

Our track record with Root Canal Treatment is high.  Root Canal Treatment like any other dental/medical procedure carries a risk of complications however we will ensure that you receive all the information you need to make an informed decision about your path of treatment.

By maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine and attending regular dental check-ups your root canal treated tooth can survive for the rest of your life.  The sooner you commence root canal treatment the greater the rate of success will be.  Alternatively, if treatment is not undertaken swiftly, this can cause severe pain, abscesses and even bone loss to the infected area.  As a result, the tooth will not be able to receive root canal therapy, and instead, may need to be removed.