Root Canal Therapy
Endodontics in Darwin
If you need a root canal, you’re not alone. Millions of teeth have root canal treatment every year,but what does it mean? What are the symptoms of needing a root canal? What does the procedure involve? Are all dentists the same? And what is it likely to cost?
This page explains in detail the answers to these questions so that you can be fully informed about the procedure before visiting the dentist.
Endodontic treatment is treating the space that exists inside your tooth. Underneath all of the hard tissues that make up a tooth is a soft tissue space called the pulp. As teeth develop, the pulp supplies the nutrients to the tooth as it needs to grow and it’s where the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth reside.
When teeth are fully formed, they can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. When root canal treatment is done, the nerves and blood vessels are replaced by a filling material, leaving the remainder of the tooth to continue to function as normal (without the pain).
Sometimes, a tooth injury, decay, large or repeated procedures done on a tooth, or a crack can develop and can extend deep into the tooth. If it travels all the way to the pulp chamber it can compromise the tooth’s integrity, leading to bacterial infection and inflammation. If this is left untreated, it can cause pain or develop into an abscess. What are the signs and symptoms?
When the tooth is infected, there is usually a build-up of pressure inside the tooth as the bacteria multiply. If there is nowhere for this to drain, then the infection travels down to the base of the root
and this pressure can cause a throbbing ache that sometimes wakes people up at night. The pain is spontaneous and it is painful to chew on and to touch. During this time, the tooth is said to have irreversible pulpitis and may have prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold and may start to get discoloured.
If there is no pain, it usually means that the infection has found a way to drain out of the tooth somehow, often into the mouth, leading to bad smells and tastes.
The procedure involves firstly, draining the pressure by accessing into the pulp space and dressing it with an antibiotic paste. Then, the root canals are cleaned and shaped to fit a rubber filling material that should completely obliterate the pulp chamber and roots, leaving no room for bacteria to multiply.
Afterwards, the tooth is protected with a crown or another restoration to protect it from future cracks. Then the tooth should continue to function like any other tooth
Root canals are mostly painless. For a few days after the treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Pain relief medications are usually very effective at controlling any post-operative symptoms so follow instructions given by your dentist carefully. If the pain lasts longer than a few days, call us for further advice.
If the tooth is experiencing pulp pain, then the only remedy is to relieve the pressure. This can be done by either a root canal, or to have the tooth removed. Options exist for an implant later in the space, however, the best treatment is usually to preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible and a root canal is often the treatment of choice in this instance.
It varies depending on the tooth. Back teeth sometimes have four roots, whilst front teeth only have one or two. For an anterior tooth, the typical cost would range from about $1400-$1900, and for a molar tooth, the typical cost would equate to approximately $2500-$2900, before any insurance rebates.
In all cases, we would recommend a crown or some other full coverage restoration of the tooth to protect it against fracture after the root canal is completed.
Your dentist will discuss an exact quotation and fees with you prior to undertaking any work so that you are fully informed
No. Root canals can be very tricky to do. Root canals are tiny spaces and to clean them properly, your dentist needs to have the training and equipment to be able to see what’s going on. At a minimum, your dentist should be using magnification glasses. An operating microscope can magnify the working area by up to 25 times its normal size.
If the dentist is able to take a 3D image of the tooth as well, it allows dentists to visualise all the roots, measure and clean them accurately. Root canals are expensive and can be time consuming, so it pays to ensure that your dentist is fully equipped to undertake the procedure to have the highest chances of success.
The Compass Dental Care difference
- At Compass Dental Care, we have an endodontic specialist on-site. Dr Ala Al Dameh graduated from her endodontic specialty at the University of Otago (NZ) and has travelled around the world lecturing and teaching other dentists on root canal treatment. She has published numerous papers in endodontic journals and was previously the associate professor of the endodontic school in Dubai.
- Root canals are expensive and can be a very time-consuming process. If you do decide to go with having root canal treatment done, you really should consider what the chances of success will be if the dentist can’t see what he or she is doing; and whether you want to risk re-treatment again in the future, or worse, have the tooth removed if treatment fails. Not all root canals will be successful, however, with the costs of dentistry so high, it would be wise to get the highest quality treatment available to give it the best chance of success.
- Our commitment to provide the highest quality standards so that you can be rest assured that you are being looked after.
- Call us today to book in for a consultation!