Root canal treatment in Adelaide

The phrase root canal strikes fear into hearts of many people. That is because in the dental ‘old days’ it was a very long and unpleasant procedure. However with the advent of modern dentistry techniques this need no longer be the case.

What is root canal, or endodontic, treatment?

We perform a root canal procedure when the bacteria, that could’ve been cleaned up with a filling earlier, has now reached the nerve, or dental pulp, deep inside the tooth. When the bacteria reach the nerve, unfortunately, the next thing to occur would be a painful abscess if left untreated.

The root canal treatment is the process of cleaning these bacteria out of the actual nerve itself.

Root canals save teeth and are far easier and cost effective than living with dentures for the rest of your life

In the old days many dentists would’ve just removed the entire tooth and that’s why there is a whole generation of people who are missing most or all of their back teeth. Having root canal therapy is a way to save teeth that would have otherwise been lost.

The complexity of each root canal treatment can vary

Our patient would come in and say: “I’m in such horrible pain”. Our first step would be to go into the tooth, take away most of the infected nerve, put some antibiotic in and then just seal it up. That will get the patient out of pain.

Our patient would come in and say: “I’m in such horrible pain”. Our first step would be to go into the tooth, take away most of the infected nerve, put some antibiotic in and then just seal it up. That will get the patient out of pain.

The complexity and outcome of your root canal depends upon how nasty the bacteria in the tooth are, and how easily they can be cleaned out. We don’t know if you have nice or nasty bacteria until we get inside to take a look. Some teeth have just one nerve canal whilst others have got up to 3-4 nerve canals. Sometimes it’s very easy to get in and clean them all, whereas other times canals are all curved and difficult to reach.

If a patient comes in with an obviously difficult case then we will refer them out to a recommended specialist for treatment.

The difference modern dentistry makes

The biggest difference between a root canal now and 20-30 years go is the quality of the local anesthetics we are able to use. For root canal treatments Adelaide Quality Dental also have a Rotary Endodontic file called ‘ProTaper’. This hand-held machine can make the process much faster and easier to perform. And we haven’t met a patient yet that is unhappy about spending less time in the chair!

About the Root canal treatment procedure

A root canal is performed on a dead or dying tooth and is usually started when the patient is in severe pain. We can relieve that pain from the outset of the treatment.

A Root canal is done in three stages, which we can do usually complete within two appointments depending on how much time we have available on a given day:

  • Stage one: Our patient would come in and say: “I’m in such horrible pain”. Immediately we go into the tooth, take away most of the infected nerve, put some antibiotic in and then just seal it up. That will get the patient out of pain.
  • Stage two: By this time they will usually say: “I’m feeling so much better, thank you.” The next stage is to clean out all of the nerve canals. This stage will leave the tooth and nerve canals with no bacteria.
  • Stage three: After the last stage we usually let it all heal for a couple of weeks and then check that there is still no bacteria. At this stage we have a sterile and dead tooth. We will then go in and fill the empty canals with a special filling material to make sure bacteria can’t get back in there

AQD_beautiful-smilesHow to avoid root canal therapy

We often explain to patients that if we had caught it months ago when the bacteria was just on the tooth and near the enamel, then we could have just done a filling and saved the tooth rather than being all the way down into the pulp.

So the best way to prevent having to have a root canal is see us at the first sign of pain or a problem and make sure you visit for your 6-monthly active maintenance visit.

The success rate and after effects of root canal therapy

The success rate of root canal treatment is very high at around 90% plus.

We do ask our patients that have had a root canal to be mindful that their tooth is now just a bit weaker than before so to take care and be gentle with it. This is why in many cases we highly recommend a crown to prevent the tooth from fracturing or shattering.

Are you in pain with a toothache?

Don’t let the pain and the problem become any worse or cost more. Call us on (08) 8346 3940 to book your consultation and treat the problem early.