What is a Root Canal and How Do You Treat it?

treating the tooth

Ever thought about what a root canal is? Do you wonder how it can keep your natural tooth healthy? We all aim to keep our oral health in good condition and for some, that may mean having a root canal. So, what is it and how does it help? 

A root canal is a well-known dental procedure. It’s done to save a tooth that has an infected or inflamed pulp. During this process, the dentist removes the damaged pulp and then, cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth. Finally, they seal it with a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha.

This method aims to get rid of bacteria and stop reinfection. It also helps keep the natural tooth. Root canals are a great way to ease pain and fix a damaged tooth’s health.

But what happens in a root canal treatment? How does it make your oral health better? Let’s look deeper into this essential dental treatment.

Understanding Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment removes the pulp inside an infected tooth. The pulp of a tooth holds blood vessels, nerves, and tissue. If the pulp gets infected due to a deep cavity, a crack or other reasons, this treatment is needed.

What is a Root Canal Treatment?

The process involves removing the damaged pulp. The dentist then cleans the inside and seals it with gutta-percha. This action removes bacteria, stops reinfection, and keeps the natural tooth.

When Might I Need a Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal may be needed if the pulp gets infected from a deep cavity or a tooth injury. If the enamel is damaged, bacteria can find its way through the enamel and cause serious infections.

Signs and Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection

Severe tooth pain, tender gums and sensitivity to hot or cold are signs that your smile may be harbouring a root canal infection. A loose or discoloured tooth can also point to an infection. If not treated, it can lead to an abscess and harm the tooth more.

Benefits and Risks of Root Canal Treatment

Choosing a root canal is often about weighing the pros of keeping your natural tooth against the possible cons. This choice is complex but important. Let’s dive into the details.

Advantages of Saving Your Natural Tooth

Saving your natural tooth through a root canal offers several key benefits. It maintains the tooth’s functionality and appearance, letting you keep a full smile that works the way you want it to – for proper chewing and speaking. You also keep the right feel and pressure when you bite and prevent harm to your nearby teeth.

Potential Risks and Discomfort

Root canal treatment, although mostly harm-free, carries a few risks. You may feel uncomfortable or have a bit of swelling afterwards. This can often be eased with common pain meds. There’s a slight chance the treated tooth might crack, or change colour, or the infection could return, needing further care. So, it’s essential to notify your dentist as soon as possible when you have even an inkling that something may be wrong.

Talking to your dentist or endodontist is critical. They can give you advice tailored to your situation. This helps ensure you’re well-informed and can choose what’s best for your dental health and comfort.

The Root Canal Process Explained

dentist showing the x-ray of teeth to the patient

We’ll take a detailed step-by-step look at the root canal process. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment

The root canal process has several important steps:

  1. Your dentist will start by taking an X-ray. This shows the condition of your tooth and the surrounding area.
  2. The area is then numbed with a local anaesthetic. This makes sure you don’t feel any pain during the treatment.
  3. The dentist removes the infected or damaged pulp. This step is crucial to saving the tooth.
  4. After that, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. It gets rid of any bacteria.
  5. The tooth is sealed with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material. Then, a filling, temporary or permanent, is placed on top, or a crown.

Alternatives to Root Canal

If a tooth is badly damaged or infected, a root canal might not save it. The alternative is to remove the tooth. After this, we might need a dental implant or a bridge to fill the gap. These treatments are more costly and complex than a root canal.

Our dentist will talk about your choices. They will help you decide what’s best for your situation. They look at how bad the damage is, the costs and what’s best for your teeth in the long run.

A dental implant can look and feel like a real tooth. It’s a popular choice for replacing a tooth. However, getting an implant can take months and include different steps. This includes starting with the first tooth removal, then putting in the implant, followed by adding the final tooth.

A dental bridge is another option. A bridge uses the teeth next to the gap as support and a false tooth is attached to them. This method is faster and less expensive than an implant but can put pressure on the healthy teeth that are used for support.

Choosing between a tooth extraction and its alternatives depends on you. Your needs, what you prefer, and your budget guide. Our dental professional at Clyde North Dental will help you pick what’s right for your health and teeth.

Root Canal Treatment Cost and Insurance Coverage

The cost of a root canal depends on many things. The tooth’s position and how complex the procedure is will affect the price. Often, back teeth (molars) cost more to treat. But don’t forget, a root canal is usually cheaper than pulling a tooth out. This is because it helps keep your natural tooth and stops you from needing a replacement.

In Australia, most dental covers help with costs for root canals. But each policy is different. You should talk to your insurance provider to know what they will cover. Knowing this helps you plan your treatment and budget better.

Dental ProcedureEstimated Cost (AUD)Typical Insurance Coverage
Root Canal (Front Tooth)$1,200 – $1,80050% – 80%
Root Canal (Molar)$1,800 – $2,50050% – 80%
Tooth Extraction$300 – $50050% – 80%
Dental Implant$4,000 – $6,0000% – 50%

When to See Your Dentist or Endodontist

smiling happy person

Feeling intense tooth pain or seeing swelling means you should see your dentist or an endodontist fast. They can check what’s wrong and see if a root canal is what you need. 

Sometimes, dentists send patients to an endodontist – these are your root canal professionals. Getting help quickly is key to stopping the infection from spreading.

Don’t ignore the pain or wait for the swelling to get worse. Booking a visit to your dentist or an endodontist early can prevent bigger problems from taking over. Look after your teeth. It’s a crucial step for your health!

Don’t Let A Root Canal Affect Your Oral Health – Contact Clyde North Dental!

A root canal is a professional way to save a tooth with a bad pulp. It removes the infected portion, cleans the inside, and seals it. This lets you keep your tooth without pain or infection.

There might be some risks with a root canal, but saving your tooth is worth it. 

If you feel something wrong with your tooth, don’t wait. Book a visit to Clyde North Dental. Our team is ready to fix your tooth and keep you smiling. Call us at 03 9121 8121 and start your journey to better oral health.

At Clyde North Dental, keeping your smile alive is our top mission. We’re here for any root canal or other dental needs. Trust us to always look after you. Contact us to discover how we can make your dental care a great experience.

Let us take care of your teeth

Whatever dental services you are after, whether it’s a minor aesthetic upgrade or a complete smile makeover, our dental clinic in Clyde North can help you achieve a grin you’ll be grinning about.