Root canal therapy is a treatment that is used to save an infected tooth instead of completely removing it. Sometimes the inside of your tooth, known as the dental pulp, can become damaged or die. This can lead to an infection, causing you to experience severe tooth pain, eventually spreading to your other teeth.
In order to avoid removing your infected tooth entirely, root canal therapy is performed. This involves creating a hole in your tooth, removing the dental pulp, filling it and then placing a crown over it. A root canal is a straightforward, pain-free treatment that alleviates any pain caused by the infected tooth. An effective and highly successful treatment, root canal therapy restores your natural tooth and avoids the need for extraction or artificial replacement. Book your appointment today, and smile with confidence.
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair a damaged or infected tooth where bacteria have entered the tooth nerve. Most commonly bacteria infiltrate the tooth nerve due to a large cavity (hole). However, bacteria may also infect a tooth through a crack/fracture, or alternatively enter the tooth directly following physical trauma (injury).
A root canal involves treating the bacterial infection by removing the tooth nerve where the bacteria reside. After the tooth nerve is removed, the tooth is internally disinfected and then a root filling is placed. The root filling is the last step in the root canal process and acts as a barrier to prevent bacteria from re-infecting the tooth.
When completed in a timely fashion, a root canal treatment can mean the difference between saving a tooth and having it lost forever.
After the root canal is complete, the infection is gone. However the next biggest concern for the tooth will be fracture or breakage. This is because teeth needing root canal treatment are generally already quite weak. To prevent the tooth from breaking it is recommended that the tooth receives a dental crown, generally a porcelain (ceramic) crown. The crown will act as a helmet for the tooth, protecting it and keeping it together.
If you have a toothache, there’s a reasonable chance you may require a root canal. A toothache commonly feels like a dull throbbing ache which may at times become sharp (acute). Commonly a toothache may wake you at night (although not always). Usually, dental pain which lingers more than a few seconds indicates a toothache. It may also be triggered by hot or cold stimuli, as well as sweet. When the issue has become chronic it may boil over and cause an abscess which is a sign of spreading infection. However, the best way to find out if you need a root canal is to get it checked out by a dentist at Studio Smiles.
There are many myths surrounding root canal treatments, and one of the longstanding myths is that they are extremely uncomfortable/painful. Now the truth is that once upon a time (decades ago) the way root canal treatments were performed in certain countries did make for a rather unpleasant experience. However, modern day root canal treatments are relatively pain-free. Often patients at Studio Smiles are surprised by how comfortable and quick their root canal treatments are. Once the anaesthetic kicks in and we have the noise cancelling headphones on with your favourite movie overhead, many patients forget they are even at the dentist. It’s not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during their root canal treatment (which we take as a compliment).
All our root canals are performed under the operating microscope – a tool rarely found in general dental practice. Root canal treatments are highly intricate as the nerve tissue being removed is often fractions of a millimeter. Moreover, there can often be additional nerves due to anatomic variations. By using our operating microscope, we can perform the treatment at 10x magnification and higher. Seeing better means we can find and remove all of the nerve tissue with higher accuracy – studies have shown operating microscopes to improve treatment success by up to 20%. Having an operating microscope means that root canals at Studio Smiles can be completed to the level of a specialist clinic.
Your dentist may recommend a crown after a root canal, and certainly at Studio Smiles this is standard practice. Once a root canal is complete the infection inside the tooth has been dealt with, however oftentimes the tooth is now quite weak, and the next concern becomes tooth fracture. Of course, it would be a shame to have spent the time and energy saving a tooth from infection only to lose it to fracture. This is where a dental crown, generally a porcelain (ceramic) crown comes in. The crown will act as a helmet for the tooth, holding it together and protecting it from further damage and breakage. Generally, it is best to have the tooth protected with a crown immediately following the root canal treatment, however in certain situations it may be recommended to delay the crown to allow the tooth to heal first.
When a tooth nerve is invaded by bacteria, it causes bacteria to spread and leads to local infection. This infection cannot heal by itself and, if left untreated, can cause severe pain, lead to an abscess, or spread to other teeth. A chronic tooth infection can also spread around the end of the root canal and cause bone loss in your jaw. If the tooth isn’t saved with root canal therapy, it may have to be removed entirely.
If you have a tooth infection, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
If you’re experiencing severe pain, call the clinic directly and we’ll do everything we can to fit you in that same day. Your oral health is so important, so it’s vital to get your tooth taken care of as soon as possible.
Get treated with comfort and care. Book an appointment today.
The main alternative to root canal therapy is extraction. This is when the infected tooth is removed, taking the infection with it. You may then elect to have the missing tooth replaced with a bridge, implant, or denture. However, where a tooth can be saved with a root canal treatment, this is generally the preferred option as there is nothing better than maintaining a natural tooth. Although the upfront cost may be higher than having the tooth removed (extracted), in the long term it is generally the more cost-effective option as replacing a missing tooth later down the track is generally more expensive. Moreover, even with the tooth replaced it may be less effective for chewing and biting compared to your natural tooth. Where possible we recommend root canal therapy as a safe and effective solution to save your natural tooth.
Root canal treatment at Studio Smiles is generally completed across 2 appointments, 1 week apart, with each appointment being between 45 to 90 minutes in duration. The length of a root canal appointment varies depending on the nature of the treatment and the tooth’s position. Generally, root canal treatments on front teeth are quicker than those for back teeth.
The fee for a root canal treatment can range between $800 and $2,000. The treatment for front teeth is generally more straightforward and hence the treatment cost is lower, whereas back molar (chewing) teeth tend to have more complex anatomy and hence the cost is higher. It is common for patients to choose to save their tooth with a root canal treatment over a cheaper extraction because of the availability of payment plans. Interest-free payment plans allow patients at Studio Smiles to get the treatment that they want when they need it most, without the stress of having to pay for the treatment up front. Smile now, pay later. For more information about our payment plans please click here.
If your tooth is causing you severe pain, call Studio Smiles directly to book an appointment. We have a policy that ensures we do everything we can to fit you in that same day so you can be pain-free. Get treated with comfort and care. Book an appointment today.
Here at Studio Smiles, we take pride in our emphasis on pain-free dentistry. We understand that going to the dentist can be daunting and that there are certain procedures you may find uncomfortable, so we use the latest techniques and technology to make you feel as comfortable as we possibly can. We also offer oral and IV sedation to take the edge off where needed, which means you can wake up to the smile of your dreams without remembering a thing! Book an appointment today.
Visiting the dentist can be costly. That’s why we’ve come up with our ‘Smile Now, Pay Later’ solution. With interest-free payment plans, you’ll be able to pay on your own terms.
With over 40 years combined experience, we know what it takes to achieve the smile of your dreams. We’ve thought about every detail so you can feel completely confident.
We’re on a mission to show you that visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Our team focuses solely on you and any concerns you have for an enjoyable and painless experience.