Root Canal Therapy in Brighton & Brisbane
Everyone has heard of root canal therapy, but when it comes to the details, most will struggle to say exactly what it involves. People associate it with a procedure that involves lots of time spent in the dentist’s chair. They use it as a yardstick for unpleasant ways to spend an afternoon, saying they would “sooner have a root canal” than undertake some much-dreaded course of action.
That’s a little disingenuous, as for patients with tooth pain, root canal treatment can be genuinely life-changing in a positive way. At Brighton Dental Suite, we use the latest technology to provide root canal treatment in Brisbane for dozens of patients each year. Here, we cut through the hyperbole and clarify what root canal surgery entails and is part of our ongoing dental services for residents of Brisbane.
What is a Root Canal?
If you are experiencing pain or inflammation in the tooth and gums, it is often caused by infection. This infection can spread throughout the nerves, tissue and pulp inside the teeth. Infection can come about for many reasons. The most common is tooth decay or damage, such as a crack, which exposes the tooth’s interior and provides an access point from which infection can take hold. If left to its own devices, the infection will spread, gradually killing the tooth from the inside. It takes time, and the longer it is left, the more tender and painful it becomes. It can even spread from the tooth to the gums to other teeth.
Root canal therapy falls into a particular branch of dentistry called endodontic services. The basic root canal procedure is to remove the infection, clean the network of blood vessels and, in short, save your tooth. At the same time, it will rid you of the pain, discomfort and escalating problems of walking around with an infected tooth that is getting worse with every passing day. Root canal treatment is delicate work, and the dentists at Brighton Dental Suite have years of experience performing root canals for many satisfied patients.
Do You Need Root Canal Treatment?
As we have already mentioned, root canal treatment is recommended for dealing with an infected tooth. The trouble with tooth infection is that the condition is already at quite an advanced stage when you start to exhibit noticeable symptoms, such as toothache, tender gums or bad breath. Whether there is still time for root canal treatment, and for dentists in Brisbane to turn it around will be touch and go.
It’s another example of why those regular check-ups are so important. Your dentist will likely spot signs of infection before you notice any outward symptoms. Either way, the faster you take action, the better the chance your root canal procedure will succeed, and the tooth can be saved.
What Happens When You Have a Root Canal Procedure?
Every patient is different, and if you need a root canal, the dentist, endodontist or periodontist will discuss and agree on a tailored treatment plan with you and how it might fit around any other dental work you need. However, we can go through the general steps of a root canal procedure that most such plans involve.
Root canal work involves five key stages, usually occurring over three to four consultations.
The Step-By-Step Root Canal Procedure
The dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums in the initial consultation and take x-rays. You will then have an opportunity to consider the different options, each of which will be explained in detail. If the tooth is still viable, saving it with a root canal procedure will always be the ideal course of action. However, if the infection has reached an advanced stage, the dentist might recommend extraction as the more practical solution. If the infected tooth is painful, the dentist will administer some pain relief to minimize your discomfort in the immediate term.
Removing The Infection
Assuming you and the root canal dentists decide between you on a root canal, that work will get underway at your second consultation. The first thing that will happen is that the dentist will administer a local anaesthetic so that you won’t feel pain. Then it is down to the serious business of removing the infected pulp from the tooth. The dentist will access the inside of the tooth with a drill and will be careful to leave as much of the healthy tooth structure in situ as possible.
Cleaning and Irrigation
Next, the canals need to be carefully widened and irrigated. Every last speck of infected material must be cleaned to ensure the infection is gone for good. Note that the second and third stages are painless but can take some time, as it is delicate work. It might even be necessary to complete this stage over two visits. The dentist will put a temporary filling in to protect the tooth and the work in progress.
Filling the Canal
With all the bacteria and infected material removed, the empty space within the canal is filled with synthetic material. This gives strength to the tooth and protects against new infections. The tooth will then need about a week of recovery time to settle before the final step. You will be given a temporary filling in the meantime so that you can go about your life with minimal discomfort or inconvenience.
Sealing and Restoration
The final step involves removal of the temporary filling and fitting a permanent seal to the root canal once the dentist has confirmed that everything is ok with it. You will then be fitted with a crown to protect the tooth and ensure it looks no different to the rest.
To determine whether a root canal is appropriate for your situation, we’ll give you a thorough examination. X-rays will likely be taken to locate the area of decay. Once we have decided to move forward, you’ll receive local anaesthesia so you don’t experience any discomfort.
Schedule your appointment with us today! We offer same-day visits for immediate attention.
Benefits of Having Root Canal Treatment
We first talked about the life-changing benefits of root canal work. You might think that sounds a little over the top, but imagine if you have spent time living with an infected, painful, sensitive tooth and occasionally catching a whiff of your bad breath. Correcting all of this will positively impact your quality of life.
The other point is that our Brisbane root canal service provides a second chance for an infected provide a second chance for an infected tooth when extraction would have been the only alternative in the past. Sometimes, extraction is still the wisest option if the infection is advanced. But where it is viable, root canal treatment will always be the preferred alternative that we will recommend.
FAQ Regarding Root Canal Treament
Does root canal treatment hurt?
No, root canal therapy is painless. Your tooth and the surrounding gum area will be under anaesthetic, and the dentists and endodontists do everything to keep discomfort to a minimum. The process takes time, so if you need a few minutes’ break from sitting with your mouth wide open, just let the dentist know. As with any invasive procedure, a minor soreness and sensitivity can be expected for a couple of days after the treatment, but this should be a little and brief discomfort.
Will the root canal treatment be 100% successful?
No dentist can guarantee that a root canal will save an infected tooth with 100 percent certainty. Sometimes, the infection is too advanced. However, the dentist will discuss the prospects for success with you before starting any treatment. We take a pragmatic view and will only recommend root canal treatment if it is likely to solve the problem and save the tooth. More than 90 percent of root canals we perform are a success.
How long does root canal treatment take?
After your initial consultation for diagnosis and agreement on a treatment plan, root canal treatment usually requires three appointments. In some cases, it can be finished in two visits; in other cases, it might need four. No two patients are the same, and we will be able to answer this question with greater certainty at your initial consultation.
What are the signs that I need root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is needed if you have an infected tooth. When the infection is in its early stages, the signs are subtle. You might only become aware of it because the dentist notices a problem during a routine check-up. When the infection becomes more advanced, symptoms include inflammation, sensitivity, toothache and bad breath. Always get checked by your dentist at the slightest sign of an infection, as with time, the symptoms will get worse, and the chances of saving the tooth will decline.
What is the cost of root canal treatment?
The cost of a root canal treatment can vary from tooth to tooth. Often due to the complexity of the root canal system, the patient may be sent to an endodontist to get the best outcome. At Brighton Dental Suite, the full course of root canal treatment starts from $600 for a simple case and can cost up to $4000 for extremely complex cases treated by a specialist endodontist.
Will I need a crown after root canal work?
In most cases, the dentist will recommend a crown to be fitted after a root canal. As well as looking better, it will give the tooth extra strength and help protect against future infection.
How can I avoid the need for root canal treatment?
Prevention is always better than cure. To avoid the need for root canal treatment, you need to protect your teeth against infection. A good oral hygiene routine is the best way of doing so. Brush and floss twice daily and remember to keep those routine appointments with the dentist and hygienist. You can also be proactive in protecting your teeth from anything likely to crack or damage them. For example, a mouthguard is a wise investment if you play a sport like football or rugby.