A root canal procedure is one of the most common dental procedures and may prevent the need for dental implants, bridges or dentures in the future. A root canal procedure restores your infected tooth to full health, preventing extraction. 

Root canals have a high rate of success and may be completed over the course of one to three treatments. 

A root canal treatment is necessary when the tissue inside the tooth becomes infected. This process enables a dentist to save your natural tooth. With today’s technology, combined with gentle dentistry practices, the average root canal procedure is similar to getting a filling.

 

What Is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is a general dental surgery performed when the pulp inside your tooth is infected due to disease, trauma, or decay. The pulp of the tooth is the connective tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels and helps support the growth of the root in the tooth’s initial stage of development.

It is unnecessary for a fully established tooth to keep its pulp, as it is supported by other surrounding tissues. 

The entire process consists of just a few visits, depending on the severity of infection or damage. The root canal surgery is a tiny hole drilled in the tooth to allow your dentist to remove infected and inflamed tissue.

Once the damaged tissue is removed, the root canal is filled with biocompatible materials, including a medicated rubber called gutta-percha, adhesive cement, and the tooth is sealed. If the tooth is damaged, you may require a crown to restore its strength, integrity, function and appearance. 

 

Symptoms of a Root Canal

Some symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal procedure include visible injury of the tooth, swelling of the gums around the tooth, increased pain, and sensitivity to temperature.

Other symptoms include constant toothache, discharge, or discolouration of the tooth.

Trauma to the tooth may also cause damage to the pulp, even if there is no visible sign of damage.

A small crack in the tooth can expose the pulp and cause an infection.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a dentist as soon as possible.

Root Canal Procedure Safety

A root canal procedure is typically safe and widely-practised. It is crucial to work with a dentist who has a reputation for using the best health practices. As with any invasive dental surgery, there are some chances for risk. Advancements in modern dentistry make root canal therapy predictable, successful, and effective. 

Digital imaging, rubber dams, disinfectants, and medicated filling material allow for successful treatments. A root canal procedure prevents the need for an extraction, which is the only alternative for infected pulp. 

Extraction is more likely to cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and is traumatic to the gums, jaw, and surrounding structures. Additionally, the extracted tooth needs to be replaced with an implant or bridge to prevent bone loss in the jaw. At LV Dental, we combine state-of-the-art holistic dental care, and gentle dentistry practices to provide you with a comfortable and safe procedure.  

 

What to Expect

On the day of your root canal procedure appointment, your LV Dental dentist discusses with you exactly what to expect throughout the procedure. A series of X-rays are taken to determine the extent of damage in the pulp. A local anesthetic or sedative is administered, based upon discussion between you and your dentist.

Conscious sedation using an on-site IV can help you relax and feel comfortable during the procedure. A rubber dam is placed around the tooth to prevent any moisture from reaching the area. 

A small hole is made in the top of the tooth, which allows the infected tissue to be carefully removed. The area of the inner tooth is thoroughly cleaned to make sure all infection has been removed. A temporary crown or filling is placed on the tooth for protection. You will be sent home with care instructions until your second visit.

 

Stage Two

Several days after the initial procedure, you will return to LV Dental for the second stage of the root canal treatment. This involves the disinfection of the tooth and filling and sealing the tooth to prevent any further infection. Depending on the extent of damage and how many root canals were initially performed, this process may be spread out over multiple visits. 

If it is determined that the tooth needs further support or structure, a permanent crown is placed on the tooth. After the procedure is completed, your teeth will continue to function as though nothing ever happened. With proper care, your restored tooth can last for many years.  

 

Final Thoughts

The safety and efficacy of root canal procedures have been widely established. The root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed today.

If you are concerned about a specific tooth or your general dental health, please contact LV Dental today to book an appointment with one of our dental professionals. We can be reached by phone on (02) 9158 6373 or you can book an appointment with us online, using our simple and convenient contact form.