Root Canal Treatment

The dreaded root canal. It's funny how the success stories are never told! At The Northside Dentist you need not fear, the advances in modern dentistry allow for virtually pain free treatments and high success rates. 

A little anatomy - in the root of the tooth there is a nerve and blood supply, which sits within small canals and follows the length of the root. Once the nerve and blood vessels have been irreversibly damaged, usually from being severely decayed or broken, there are two options: root canal treatment, or extraction.

You may require root canal treatment if you feel:

  • Spontaneous, long lasting pain
  • Pain that is disturbing your sleep or keeping you awake at night
  • Extreme pain to hot or cold drinks
  • Pain to bite together, or tooth feels raised in your bite
  • A swelling or abscess in the gum next to a tooth
  • Painkillers don’t, or barely, work

Root canal treatment involves the removal of a dead, dying, or infected nerve from within the canals in a tooth root. It consists of at least two appointments to ensure the length of the canals have been measured, cleaned, and filled correctly and a solid, robust restoration has been placed on top. Due to the sometimes unexpected, complexities, and intricacies of the canals, root canals come with a success rate of approximately 85-90%. Also, on rare occasions a referral to a specialist may be required. 

The First Appointment - The first appointment involves achieving appropriate anaesthesia, cleaning the tooth of decay, finding the canals and placing a medicament to settle the tooth down and relieve the pain. A temporary filling will then be placed to provide function for the interim between visits.

The Second Appointment - The subsequent appointment or appointments, normally a couple weeks later, will involve measuring the lengths of the canals, using a succession of wider files to clean the canal walls and an irritant to wash out any nerve remnants. If the root canal is to be completed over two visits then the canals will be filled and sealed and a final restoration placed on top. However this final step may be done in a third visit if the canal shape or anatomy are more complicated. 

After your treatment, it is normal to feel slight discomfort while the tooth settles down. This normally goes on for a few days. It is advised that a crown is placed over a root canal treated tooth within 12 months after completion due to its risk of fracture.

If you're in pain, or have a broken-down tooth, call us for a same day emergency appointment.