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Having a root canal procedure gives a patient the chance to save a dead or dying tooth and retain your natural teeth for longer. A root canal treatment is performed to remove damaged or dead tooth pulp and to seal the tooth to prevent reinfection. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from endodontic treatment.


What Are The Tooth Canals And Why Do They Get Infected?

Inside each tooth is a substance called tooth pulp or dental pulp. When teeth are developing the pulp provides an important life source by feeding the tooth with nutrients and oxygen. When the tooth is fully formed it will be nourished by the surrounding tissue.

If bacteria are able to penetrate and access the tooth pulp, they can cause an infection which results in pain and swelling. The infection can deteriorate further to cause a tooth abscess. 


How Do Bacteria Access The Tooth?

Bacteria usually gain access to dental pulp through a combination of reasons:


What To Expect From Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal procedures are usually split up into a couple of visits, depending on the amount of decayed material that needs to be removed.


First, your dentist will take an x-ray to see how deep the decay is. Based on the outcome of the x-ray your dentist will be able to evaluate how much work will be required to clear the infection.

The area around your tooth will be numbed so you do not feel pain during endodontic treatment. 

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Your dentist will then drill a small opening in the surface of your tooth to get access to the canals. The decayed tooth pulp will be extracted through the hole using special instruments. You may need to return for more than one session to remove all the infected material.

Once he or she is satisfied that the canals are clear of infection, your dentist will put a filling substance into the canals to seal them up.

Finally, the small hole or cavity will be sealed with tooth coloured filling material, or sometimes a dental crown is required to hold to fragile tooth together.

Once the procedure is complete, your tooth will be restored to its former function and you will be able to bite and chew with the same amount of force as before. 


Is A Root Canal Treatment Painful?

A root canal procedure is performed under anaesthetic so you should not feel any pain. Once the anaesthetic has worn off (after approximately two hours) you might experience some temporary discomfort, but it can be managed with over the counter pain medication. Many patients compare the experience to getting a filling.

Avoiding root canal therapy can cause the infection to spread to other structures in your mouth.

To find out more about the root canal procedure and how it could save your teeth please contact us for an appointment: (02) 6188 7293.


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