Root Canal Treatment Melbourne
A root canal treatment is a procedure that decontaminates a tooth from infections within it. This infection causes a lot of pain and when left untreated, could lead to severely damaging that tooth as well as infecting the other teeth near it.
In the past, the solution to this type of infection was to remove the tooth altogether, resulting in a gappy smile or costly implant procedures. However, Thanks to more recent advances in dental technology, these teeth can be saved by undergoing root canal treatment.
How does one know when to have root canal treatment?
There are a couple of medical reasons why a patient needs to undergo this procedure, such as:
- Severe sensitivity: Our teeth are susceptible in general, and people have different levels of sensitivity. However, when there’s a significant amount of sensitivity that could be felt, it usually means that there’s something not quite right with the roots. When this happens, it often makes it hard to eat or drink.
- Dead nerves: These can be caused by several things like dental decay or cracked teeth. When a tooth is damaged, the nerves are usually affected. When the tooth is at a point where we cannot recover the nerve, a root canal is needed.
- Abscesses: Most abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection and generally lead to swelling and pain, making it hard for a person to bite or chew. These abscesses won’t go away without treatment and are minimally improved with antibiotics alone. If a periapical abscess does not get treated immediately, it could infect other teeth as well as spread to your jaw and other areas of the head and neck.
- Extensive restorations: There are times where a dental or cosmetic restoration could affect other nerves or expose them to infection. Unfortunately this would lead to a root canal.
Root Canal Procedure
A dentist can usually do root canal treatment, but there are severe instances wherein a root canal specialist or an endodontist is needed. These cases typically involve multi-canal procedures or complicated tooth structures.
It is best to always have a thorough consultation with your dentist to know exactly how the procedure will have to take place. But having said that, a root canal treatment typically goes in this manner:
- X-ray. This is needed for the dentist to know a patient’s tooth structure, the extent of the infection, as well as signs of the infection affecting other teeth or bones. A dentist needs all these records to allow for a smoother, more successful procedure.
- Anesthesia. Even if the nerves are already dead, most dentists prefer to numb the tooth or the surrounding area so that patients won’t feel any discomfort or pain. The procedure may not hurt, but it is best to be sure just in case. The anesthesia usually lasts for more than an hour. The dentist will also use a rubber dam to stop the saliva from coming into the area.
- Extirpation. Once all the liquid is out of the area, and the infected tooth is dry, the dentist will then make a hole on the surface of the tooth. This hole will give access to extract the dead nerves and pulp along with the bacteria and other debris using a small file.
- Cleaning. The dentist will then start to clean the tooth, commonly using sodium hypochlorite to do so. The tooth is shaped by scrubbing or scraping the root canals using a small file but this part is often done at a second appointment as it can be quite a lengthy procedure.
- Sealing. Once thoroughly cleaned, the dentist seals the tooth. This is typically done at the third appointment
- Filling. The last parts of this procedure involves filling the drilled tooth. Once the nerves and pulp are extracted, the tooth is already dead and can be brittle. Filling the tooth with a filler or a crown provides the final seal. Crowns are often indicated and quoted to the patient as part of the root canal procedure. You can liken the crown to putting a roof on a house – it seals and protects all the hard work that’s been underneath.
Although the success rate of root canal treatments is very high, there are times where complications may arise both during the procedure and after. However, these are rare and can be treated.
- Reinfection – This may happen if the quality of the work done during the procedure is inadequate, or the tooth was not properly sealed by a crown at the end of your previous treatment. Other reasons include using inferior quality fillers or any remaining pulp tissue left behind.
- Fractured Root or Crown – When the nerves are extracted, it leaves the tooth very vulnerable. Without proper filling, this could result in it being brittle and getting fractured. If this happens after the procedure, a root canal specialist can take a better look at the tooth to determine whether or not a refilling can solve this issue or complete extraction of the tooth is needed.
- Missed root canals – Every tooth is made up of complex canals. Some of the difficult ones to reach and clean are accessory canals, which can be hidden and missed. This can happen even under the care of a root canal specialist as some of these accessory canals can be almost impossible to find and locate.
The cost of a root canal treatment varies depending on a lot of factors, including the location of the tooth, number of canals and difficulty of access. Treatment costs typically range between $800-$1500 without a crown, although these costs are significantly higher if a specialist endodontist is required.
This is a discussion that you will need to have with your dentist about your specific needs and likelihood of success. Often it is the only way that you can preserve your natural tooth and not be left with a gap in your smile or the expense of an implant. Root canals are almost always painless and leave you with your own natural tooth intact.
Where can I get a treatment for my root canal?
If a root canal treatment is something you’re looking at, Stanley Street Dental in Melbourne is the best place to go for a consultation and an appointment. Providing top-quality dental care for years now, you can be guaranteed the best treatment by their dedicated staff led by Dr. Frank Nikakhtar. Should you have any questions, they are more than happy to answer them for you.