Rochedale Dental Group

Useful Information

Contact us 07 3341 4344
Our Location

Our Location

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Opening Hours

Opening Hours

Mon:8am – 5:30pm
Tue: 8am – 5:30pm
Wed: 8am – 5:30pm
Thu: 8am - 7pm
Fri: 8am – 5:30pm
Sat: 8am - 3:30pm

Root Canal Therapy / Endodontics

Root canal treatment aims at saving a tooth that may otherwise need extraction. Such a tooth is usually in a lot of pain, where the nerve of the tooth is infected by decay. This procedure aims at saving the tooth structure but removing the infection within the tooth and thereby also treating the pain. The nerve of the tooth is replaced with a rubber based filling. It is usually preferable to save a tooth rather than taking it out.

What you need to know about the tooth to better understand Root Canal Treatment

If we think of the tooth like a pumpkin we can better understand the tooth's anatomy. A pumpkin has thick tough and strong skin, which is similar to the outside layer of the tooth enamel (the visible part of the tooth crown). As you cut into a pumpkin past the skin, you will notice the yellow, orange softer section - this is like the tooth's second layer - the dentine. Now located in the centre of the pumpkin is a hollow space full of 'squishy soft mush' and pumpkin seeds - or in the case of a tooth- the nerve chamber that consists of pulp tissue. The pulp consists of specialised dental cells, blood vessels, tissue fibres and some nerve fibres. The pulp is a sensitive tissue that provides oxygen, nutrients and feeling to the tooth. The root is the 'prong' that helps anchor the tooth into the jaw.

How do I know I need a Root Canal Treatment?

The dentist will listen to your symptoms, examine your teeth and take x-rays. A diseased tooth pulp may cause inflammation or infection. The symptoms of a damaged or diseased tooth pulp may include:

  • Unprovoked tooth ache
  • Gradual change in tooth's colour
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and foods
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Loosening of the tooth
  • Swelling and pus around the tooth and gum
  • Facial swelling.

Sometimes, the tooth pulp may become damaged or diseased without presenting any symptoms. In these cases, the problem is usually diagnosed by x-rays and a dental check up.

What happens if I don't get Root Canal Treatment?

If the infection is left untreated, complications could include:

  • Spreading infection - bacteria continues to spread. Pus and infection starts to fester and ooze, If there is no way for the pus to escape from the tooth, you will have severe tooth ache. Often an abscess will form (a pocket or 'blister' of pus).
  • Localised bone loss - The infection may spread around the roots of the tooth and cause the jaw bone to deteriorate.
  • Loss of tooth - If the tooth becomes too infected and breaks down until it is irrepairable it may have to be removed. Tooth replacements such as dentures, bridges and dental implants may not be possible or may not be tolerated. They are generally more costly.

What is involved in Root Canal Treatment Procedure?

You may need one or more visits to complete Root Canal Treatment.
Generally, the typical root canal treatment includes:

  • The affected area is anesthetized and isolated.
  • Any decay is removed. The infected pulp is scooped out. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned of infection and debris. The tooth is medicated until it is infection free.
  • This stage will continue until the dentist feels the tooth is free from bacteria.
  • The infection-free root canal is then sealed with long-lasting barrier materials (the root filling)
  • The tooth then undergoes restoration and the biting surfaces are filled using normal filling materials
  • In many cases, where there is considerable loss of the tooth structure, there may be a need for an artificial crown made from porcelain.

Learn more about the Services performed by Rochedale Dental Group.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

View MoreWill the tooth look the same after Root Canal Treatment?

A normal tooth with a healthy pulp is yellowish-white in colour. A pulp-free tooth may, in time, darken and turn grey. A porcelain crown is often used in these scenarios to give the tooth added strength and get the tooth back to a colour that matches surrounding teeth.

View MoreWhat are the causes of pulp damage that leads to Root Canal Treatment?

There are many events that can lead to disease or damage to tooth’s pulp. Some of these include:

  • Untreated decay
  • Decay beneath a deep filling
  • Trauma that damages a tooth
  • Advanced gum disease
  • Tooth grinding
  • Cracked teeth

View MoreWhy is replacing a missing tooth so important?

When a tooth is missing the surrounding teeth drift into the incorrect position just like when you remove a book from the book shelf, the other books topple forward into the missing book’s place. Additionally, spaced from missing teeth can cause your surrounding teeth and gums to become far more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.