What is Endodontic (Root Canal) treatment?
Why do RCT (Root canal treatment)?
What happens when the nerve in the tooth 'dies' or you get an abscess?
Why do I have pain if my tooth is dead?
What's involved in root canal (endodontic) treatment?
Completion of treatment
Possible complications of root canal treatment
Root canal treatment is a processes of cleaning and then filling the inside cavity of the tooth that is normally occupied with nerves and blood vessels.
This is the treatment for a 'dead' tooth.
Endodontic treatment and Root Canal treatment usually refer to the same thing. ('Endo' means inside and 'odont' is a tooth.)
To 'save' a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury we do root canal treatment. The alternative is to remove a tooth. Most people prefer to save their teeth rather than have gaps which can effect chewing and appearance, and even cause other teeth to tip and tilt from their normal position. Not every damaged tooth can be saved with root canal treatment so we will advise you if it is not likely to be successful.
A root canal treated tooth may last many, many years with good care. The root canal treated tooth is like the other teeth in your mouth as it can still decay and be subject to gum disease.
All dentists are trained to do root canal treatments. Endodontists are specialist dentists whose area of expertise is root canal treatment.
An infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
Root canal treatment doesnt only aim to get rid of the result of the infection e.g. pain and swelling, but it aims to get rid of the cause of the infection. This is done by cleaning the damaged pulp or debris from the root canal and sealing the root canal against bacteria (germs).
Antibiotics may temporarily get rid of the pain or swelling but without treatment the infection continues.
When the pulp in the tooth is destroyed or "dies" the inside (pulp chamber or root canal) becomes empty or full of "dead" (necrotic) body fluids. Bacteria finds this space and starts to grow. The bodys defense mechanisms can not remove the bacteria so an infection forms.
Common causes of pulp damage:
Some people have pulp damage without any symptoms. They have no pain. A dentist may discover a 'dead' tooth via radiographs (x-rays) showing bone destruction or in finding a very loose tooth or finding pus formation or a hole in the bone near a tooth that releases pus slowly (draining sinus).
Attention should be paid to removing the infection and healing the bone. Long term dental infections have been linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Prolonged pain sensitivity to hot and cold is usually one of the early symptoms of pulp damage. The pulp is 'alive' at this stage but the damage to it has been so great that the pulp tissue is unable to heal itself and will continue getting worse until it degenerates totally and 'dies'. Hot and cold expands and contacts the pulp tissue causing pain. Often at this stage hot causes pain which may take minutes to subside and this may be relieved by the placement of cold on the tooth.
In an undamaged pulp the tissue has mechanisms to control this expansion/contraction so pain isn't experienced.
The cause of pain once a tooth 'dies' is the pressure, of the 'dead' contents of the inside of the tooth (consisting of dead pulp tissue, debris, and bacteria), on the surrounding bone and gums (periodontal ligament ) so the tooth often feels painful to touch yet may not be sensitive to changes in temperature. Symptoms most commonly associated with a 'dead' nerve are a tooth that hurts to bite on, becomes sore to touch or push on, and in acute stages facial swelling occurs.
What's involved in root canal (endodontic) treatment?
Before treatment commences a dentist or specialist endodontist will try to determine whether a tooth is likely to be able to be successfully treated and to be restored as a functional or cosmetic part of your mouth. This is done using radiographs (x-rays), visual examination and periodontal examinations.
Endodontic treatment of a tooth involves:
Once the root canal treatment is completed we may require monitoring the healing process with additional xrays.
Crowns: We may recommend you have the root canal treated tooth crowned to improve the strength and decrease the risk of the tooth fracturing.
Please speak to us about any concerns you have with root canal treatment.
All dental and medical treatment has risks and as an unique part of your unique makeup each tooth is different so not every complication can be listed.
We can give you an estimate of the costs of the root canal treatment. We can also give you costs for placement of a crown or restoration after treatment.
As the final treatment may vary from the original estimate the final costs may be different.
Quality, Care and Professionalism...balance with friendly expertise from the whole team.
Camberwell Dental Group
Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 8am-6pm
Sat 8.30 am-1 pm
575 Riversdale Rd
Camberwell VIC 3124 AU
Monash University Health Service Dental Clinic (Clayton)
21 Chancellors Walk, Building 10,
Clayton Campus, Wellington Road, Clayton.
03 9905 1000
Two convenient locations
Camberwell and Monash University
Dr Erik Magee BDSc (Melb)
Dr Stephen Liew BDSc (Melb), FPFA, FADI
Dr Sue King BDSc (Melb)
Dr Lin Liang BDSc (Hons Melb)
Dr Edward Ounapuu BDSc (Adel)
Dr Yasmin Ardebili BDS (Honours), Masters in Implantology (Distinction) (University of Manchester)
Dr Marjan Ardebili BDS (Manchester,UK), MFDS (RCS Ed)
Dr Nigel Gamage BDSc (Sheffield)
Dr Brent Woods BSc MBBS BOralH GDipDent FRACDS (OMS)
Camberwell Dental Group and Monash University Dental Clinic premier dentists promoting health care for life. - Family orientated