Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is the process of removing the infected or damaged pulp (nerve) from within a tooth and replacing it with a special type of fillings material. This procedure is usually performed over 2 or 3 visits.

If your dentist has recommended root canal treatment, the first thing to do is stay calm! It's crucial to remember that if root canal is done well, by a competent dentist, it doesn't hurt.

To find out more, call us on 3632 8100 or book online now.

Why do I need Root Canal Treatment?

If your dentist has recommended RCT, there are two likely reasons for this:

The pulp of your tooth may be inflamed or infected. These types of infections are caused by deep tooth decay, loose fillings or severe tooth grinding. Antibiotics will not treat this kind of infection. The only way to treat such an infection is with RCT, or removal of the tooth.

The other possible reason for needing RCT is that the tooth may have been traumatised. If a tooth has a crack or is knocked hard enough, the pulp becomes inflamed. Once this has occurred, the only treatment that will save the tooth is RCT.

Signs and Symptoms

An infected or inflamed pulp does not always cause pain. Often, the nerve of the tooth loses vitality, thus preventing any sensation. Sometimes, however, you may experience symptoms such as:

Spontaneous toothache

Lingering sensitivity to hot and/or cold

Tenerness of the gums

Swelling near the tooth

What does the process involve?

RCT involves a series of visits ot the dentist, usually ranging from 1 - 3 appointments. During these visits, the nerve and blood vessels from inside the roots or the tooth are removed. The canals are measured precisely using endodontic files and radiographs (Xrays). An anti-inflammatory dresseing is placed inside the tooth in between appointments. After the root canal system has been completely debrided, it is filled with a synthetic material called gutta percha. At this stage, a permanent restoration can be placed over the top of the tooth.

In between your root canal appointments, your tooth will have a temporary filling placed. This means the tooth is fully functional at all times.

Is RCT painful?

No! A common misconception in the public is that having RCT is a painful process. From the patient's point of view, the procedure is very similar to having a routine filling. The dentist will rub some numbing gel over the gum near the tooth. She will then inject local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. After the initial pinch of the injection, you will experience no pain at all, but will be able to feel pressure and vibration on the tooth, just as you would with a normal filling.

What happens after my root canal is completed?

Once the root system of the tooth is fully restored, your dentist will advise you on the best way to restore the biting surface of the tooth. This often, but not always, involves placing a crown. In this respect, every case is different and as such, each patient receives an individual treatment plan.