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Endodontics (RCT)

When the pulp, which is the central portion of the tooth and contains the blood vessels, nerves, and live connective tissues, becomes infected or inflamed, root canal therapy or endodontic therapy is required.

Instead of pulling a tooth that has been seriously damaged or infected, a root canal operation is used to save it. A specialist in root canals or endodontics performs this operation.

The most frequent causes of tooth damage or infection are gum diseases, recurrent dental procedures on a particular tooth, cavities brought on by plaque buildup, fractured or broken teeth brought on by accidents or trauma, and cavities caused by cavities. These problems have the potential to inflame, infect, and permanently harm pulp. The sufferer will occasionally feel unbearable discomfort. When the pulp heals, the pain might go away.

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How does the pulp become diseased?

The most common cause of pulp damage is deep tooth decay which extends beyond the enamel and the dentine and then allows bacteria from your mouth to reach the pulp. Because these bacteria are not normally found in the pulp, they multiply and spread and the pulp may then become inflamed or infected. Products of infection may then spread through the opening at the tip of the root, called the apex, into the surrounding bone. If allowed to continue, the infection will form into an abscess and this may cause pain to hot and/or cold and chewing or biting and a swelling which can become quite large. Other causes of pulp damage include: trauma to a tooth, leakage around old, loose or defective fillings, excessive wear of teeth caused by grinding (bruxism), and cracked teeth. These processes can then lead to the infection of the pulp.

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Signs and symptoms that a tooth may need RCT

Some signs to indicate you may need endodontic treatment include:

  • Continuous pain
  • Extreme or prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold especially if not relieved with toothpastes for sensitive teeth
  • Discomfort when chewing or biting
  • Discoloration of a tooth. This may be grey or a darker yellow when compared to other teeth
  • Facial swelling or swelling of the gum

Sometimes you may have no symptoms at all, which is why regular check-up appointments with your dentist in Melbourne are so important.

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Advantages of saving the natural tooth with RCT

There are several advantages of root canal treatment over the alternative treatments including

  • Efficient chewing and biting with the same sensation
  • Normal biting force
  • Natural appearance
  • Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain
  • Maintains the jaw bone quantity and quality
  • Maintains the gum shape

After endodontic treatment the tooth is pulpless, but it is not a dead tooth.

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Frequently asked questions

01. What is a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure performed to save a severely damaged or infected tooth by removing the infected pulp, cleaning the canals, and filling them with a biocompatible material.
02. How do I know if I need a root canal?
Common signs that may indicate the need for a root canal include severe tooth pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth discoloration, swollen gums, or a pimple-like bump on the gums near the affected tooth. However, only a dental professional can accurately diagnose the need for a root canal.
03. Is root canal treatment painful?
With modern techniques and anesthesia, root canal treatment is typically not painful. The procedure itself should be painless, although you may experience some discomfort or sensitivity afterward. Your dentist will provide appropriate pain management options to ensure your comfort during and after the treatment.
04. How long does a root canal procedure take?
The duration of a root canal procedure depends on various factors, including the tooth's location, complexity, and the number of canals involved. On average, a root canal treatment can be completed in one to three appointments, each lasting about 60 to 90 minutes.
05. What happens after a root canal treatment?
After a root canal, you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics if there was an infection present. A dental crown is typically placed on the treated tooth to restore its strength and protect it from further damage.
06. Are there any alternatives to root canal treatment?
The only alternative to root canal treatment is tooth extraction. However, extracting the tooth may lead to other complications, such as shifting teeth, bite problems, or the need for a dental implant or bridge to replace the missing tooth. Saving the natural tooth with a root canal is usually the preferred option whenever possible.
07. How successful is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment has a high success rate, with most treated teeth lasting a lifetime. However, success can depend on factors such as the tooth's condition, proper restoration (such as a dental crown), and maintaining good oral hygiene practices.
08. Can a root canal be done in one visit?
In straightforward cases, a root canal treatment can be completed in one visit. However, complex cases or the need for additional procedures may require multiple visits.
09. How much does a root canal treatment cost?
The cost of a root canal treatment varies depending on factors such as the tooth's location, complexity, and the need for additional procedures. It is best to consult with your dentist or endodontist to get an accurate cost estimate.
10. Can I drive home after a root canal treatment?
In most cases, you should be able to drive yourself home after a root canal treatment. However, if you received sedation or if you feel particularly uncomfortable, it may be wise to arrange for someone to drive you.
11. How can I prevent the need for a root canal treatment?
Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups can help prevent many dental problems. Additionally, avoiding excessive sugar consumption, wearing a mouthguard during physical activities, and promptly treating cavities or dental injuries can help reduce the risk of needing a root canal treatment.

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