Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a fairly common dental procedure that can save your tooth when an infection settles into the tooth root. Although many dental clinics in the Seaforth, NSW need to refer root canal treatment to a specialist, Dr Lincoln Huang can treat most patients who require endodontic therapy right here where you have your routine check-ups and cleans.
People often have a fear of this somewhat routine dental treatment because it is usually associated with pain. But it is the toothache rather than the procedure itself that most patients find painful. Dr Huang always makes sure that the tooth is fully numb before he starts the procedure. Happy gas or intravenous sedation can be utilised to relieve anxiety as well.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Many people first realise something is wrong with they have toothache pain that grows worse, particularly when they lie down or try to chew on the affected tooth. Sometimes, there is a white spot that appears on the gum in the area of the infected tooth; this is pus from the tooth root tip that can sometimes leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Other tell-tale signs include swelling in the gum area and sensitivity to hot and cold. If you have a history of damage to a particular tooth, this also puts it at risk of developing an infection.
How a Root Canal Can Save Your Tooth from Extraction
The tooth is made up of three parts:
- The enamel, which is the hard outer layer of the tooth.
- The dentine, which supports the enamel and provides the shape to the tooth. It is not as firm as tooth enamel, but it is still harder than bone.
- The pulp, which is the inner-most living portion of the tooth, located in the root. It contains nerve fibres and blood vessels.
When bacteria travels through the enamel and dentine down into the pulp of the tooth, usually because of a cavity in the tooth, because there has been some kind of trauma or because gum disease has left the tooth root exposed, this can cause an infection. A root canal removes the infected portion of the tooth root, which is no longer vital.
Dr Huang uses rotary instruments to more quickly and more accurately removed this infected tissue from the tooth. At C4th Dental, we also use a dental laser to remove infected tissues and disinfect the root canals thoroughly. Once the area is thoroughly cleaned, Dr Huang will rinse it with an anti-bacterial agent, fill the tooth and seal it to prevent infection from recurring.
The remaining tooth structure tends to become brittle with the living tissue removed, so Dr Huang usually recommends a dental crown to strengthen it. After treatment, you should be able to chew again normally.
Your Comfort Is Key
We realise that the root canal is a feared dental procedure, and your comfort during treatment is of utmost importance to our team. During your root canal treatment, we will numb the area of the mouth being treated with a local anaesthetic. Most of our patients report that the entire procedure feels no different than most other types of dental treatment.
If you are still feeling anxious about root canal treatment at our Seaforth, NSW dental surgery, Dr Huang can talk to you about the use of sedation dentistry, including nitrous oxide (‘happy gas’), to help you stay calm and relaxed while in the dental chair.
We hope you will put your trust in Dr Huang and C4th Dental Centre for your oral care, including root canal treatment.