What is root canal treatment?
If a tooth has prolonged exposure to decay, the nerve in your tooth’s centre, also known as the pulp, can become infected. Our Pennant Hills dentists use root canal therapy to restore a tooth’s function and aesthetics while preventing the infection from spreading further, which could ultimately lead to tooth loss. In summary, root canal treatment includes the cleaning, disinfecting, sealing and capping of a tooth.
Root canal therapy is a meticulous yet routine procedure. It usually requires two visits including your initial appointment. During your initial consultation appointment, your dentist will explain the procedure to you in detail. Here’s what you can typically expect during a root canal therapy procedure:
- Before any part of the procedure begins, your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic to completely numb the area. Once this is in full effect, you shouldn’t feel a thing!
- A rubber dam will be placed around your tooth to isolate it from your other teeth and keep it dry.
- With special precision tools, your dentist will carefully remove the bits of damaged and decayed tooth, including the infected pulp.
- Next, your tooth’s chamber receives a thorough cleaning and disinfecting before your dentist applies medication to prevent infection from recurring.
- Your tooth’s chamber will be thoroughly cleaned with an antibacterial solution.
- Your dentist will then fill your tooth with dental filling to seal the hole and prevent food debris and bacteria from getting trapped in it.
- To finish your root canal treatment, your dentist will attach a dental crown to your tooth to help restore its structure and provide a natural-looking and functioning finish.
Do I need root canal treatment?
Tooth decay starts in the outer layer of your tooth (the enamel) before spreading to the middle layer (the dentin). At this point, you may only require a dental filling to restore your tooth and prevent the decay from spreading further. Left untreated, the decay eventually spreads to the innermost layer of your tooth. Once the decay enters your tooth’s canal, the pulp can become infected. At this point, root canal therapy is usually required to protect your dental health and, ultimately, save your tooth.
Sometimes, an infected tooth may not give you any warning signs until it’s too late to be saved. So, it’s extra important to ensure you maintain regular dental visits for a check-up. Our experienced dentists have the equipment and technology to see what’s going on beneath the surface of your teeth and provide you with the most effective dental treatments in a timely manner.
Below, you can find a few of the common signs of an infected tooth that may require dental care:
- a crack or hole in your tooth
- persistent toothache and sensitivity
- neck and facial swelling
- abscesses or cysts on or in your gum
- a darkening tooth
Root canal treatment in Pennant Hills
Root canal therapy aftercare
Your dentist will explain exactly what your aftercare entails, but generally, you can expect it to be simple and involve little downtime. Your mouth may be numb for a few hours after your appointment. It’s important to be mindful of biting your inner cheek or lips during this time. For the first day or two after your root canal treatment, you may feel slight discomfort or sensitivity. This is perfectly normal and easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
In the long run, it’s important to maintain great oral hygiene habits at home and keep up with your routine dental check ups.
Avoid the need for root canal therapy
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental health issues around the world. It’s also the leading cause of root canal infection. Luckily, preventing tooth decay is doable. Here are some top tips from our family dentists on how to avoid tooth decay and the need for invasive dental treatments:
When you know the root cause of a problem, it can be a lot easier to solve. Our lifestyles and habits are major contributing factors to the health of our teeth and gums. It’s important to recognise the elements of your lifestyle or certain things that you do that negatively affect your oral health so you can take appropriate action. Some questions you may ask yourself are, do I brush my teeth for long enough? Do I floss regularly enough? Do I consume a lot of acidic food? Am I grinding my teeth through the night? Does poor oral health run in the family? Knowing the answers to questions like these can help you avoid decay by following the best dental care plan for your needs.
A primary cause of tooth decay is food debris and nasty bacteria that can get trapped and linger between teeth. The combination of effective tooth brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and daily flossing can help defend your teeth against decay. You can add an antibacterial mouthwash into your daily at-home dental care regime too for extra measure!
A primary way to dodge tooth decay and any of its adverse effects on your oral health is by having biannual dental checkups and professional teeth cleaning. General dentistry is key to maintaining optimal dental health, providing elements of dental care you can simply not achieve at home on your own. At Pennant Hills Dental Centre, our dentists have unparalleled knowledge and experience, advanced tools and technology and can deliver the latest in dental techniques to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile.
Sugar is a primary culprit when it comes to decay in both adults and children. It reacts with bacteria in your mouth, producing acidity that is particularly harsh on the enamel of your teeth. While it’s unnecessary to cut out sugar altogether, it pays to consume it moderately to avoid decay.
When your mouth is dry, bacteria that cause decay flourish. You may have a dry mouth as a result of medication, a blocked nasal passage or simply from not staying hydrated enough. A great way to ensure your mouth has enough saliva to help rid the surface of your teeth of bacteria is to ensure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not only does staying hydrated positively impact the health of your mouth, but it can also have great general health benefits.