Melbourne Dental Practice

Root Canals

Root canal treatment is a means of saving a tooth that has been damaged by infection or deep decay. The purpose of treatment is to restore the tooth so that it can function properly inside your mouth.

Root Canals

Why should a tooth need to be Root Treated?

The pulp chamber inside the tooth contains the vessels that supply nutrients and stimuli to and from the tooth. If a large cavity in the tooth reaches the pulp or if the tooth breaks, bacteria can reach the pulp and infect it. These are but some of the reasons for infected pulps and are not the only ones. The other common cause is due to the tooth cracking deep inside. The root canals then become infected and inevitably an abscess forms in the bones around the roots. Pain (sometimes severe) may occur at any time during this process and the infection can spread.

The purpose of the treatment is to remove the bacteria from inside the tooth and disinfect the root canals. Access is made through the crown of the tooth and the contents of the pulp camber and root canals are removed with thin files. The root canals are disinfected by removing layers from its walls and placing medication inside the tooth. Radiographs are required to monitor the progress of the procedure. Once the tooth presents itself symptom free, is the tooth sealed with a root filling material and a filling is placed on top of the hole in your tooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is root treatment painful?
A. Local anaesthetic is used throughout the procedure and every possible step is taken to ensure that you are comfortable while the work is carried out. Following treatment you will be informed if there is a possibility of discomfort. This is usually minor, and doesn't last long.

Q. How long does the treatment take?
A. The procedure is usually done over two or more visits. A dressing may be placed on the first visit. The next appointment will be for the tooth to be filled. Sometimes if the tooth is not free from infection more medicated dressing is placed into the tooth. This can vary according to the complexity of the root canals. Appointments given are usually lengthy and patients are requested to keep their appointments or to inform the surgery if not able to attend.

Q. Is success guaranteed?
A. Root canal treatment does enjoy a high level of success. However it should be remembered that it is impossible to guarantee the success of any medical procedure. Treatment may discolour and weaken the tooth. Your dentist may recommend a crown to protect the tooth. It may be necessary for you to avoid biting too hard until a crown is fitted.