Root Canal Therapy (RCT) is a dental procedure that removes the damaged or infected nerve. Often this damaged nerve, also called the pulp, is caused by large cracks, untreated dental decay, decay beneath a filling, repeated large filling procedures, gum disease, and tooth grinding.
If infected pulp is left untreated a large infection will form which can spread to the jaw and become complicated. In rare cases, it can develop in a life threatening situation.
Patients who have infected pulp can suffer from severe toothache and will often present at our dental clinic for an emergency appointment.
The purpose of RCT is to remove the damaged pulp (nerve) in order to save the tooth. The most immediate benefit of RCT is relief pain. However the long term benefit of RCT is the preservation of your natural tooth.
The only downside of RCT is it does weaken the tooth structure. This can be significantly overcome with the fitting of a crown.
RCT will not be offered if the tooth is loose or if only a small amount of tooth remains as the treatment is not likely to be successful in these cases.
What should you expect with root canal treatment?
At Me Dental Care, this procedure is typically completed within 3 to 4 visits.
- The dentist will make an opening in the top of the infected tooth
- The infected pulp (nerve) and bacteria are flushed out with disinfectant and the root canals are cleaned with special instruments (often called dental files)
- The pulp chamber and root canal are filled and sealed
- The tooth opening is restored with a filling
- After root canal treatment, a tooth becomes brittle. To prevent it from breaking while eating, we cover the tooth with a crown
What are the alternatives to a root canal treatment?
- Tooth extraction – this will leave a gap that may need to be replaced by an artificial tooth, such as with bridges, implants or dentures
- Leave the tooth untreated – risk of developing infection and pain. Often can become a life threatening situation if infection spread to the jaw
We invite you to speak to our dental team who can provide you with recommendations that suit your particular circumstances.
Are you looking for Emergency Root Canal Therapy service for immediate relief? Me Dental Care is open 7 days a week. Please contact our Patient Co-ordinator to book an appointment, or call (03) 8538-6199 during business hours.