If you have a root canal coming up and you’re not sure what a root canal treatment in Perth actually involves, then you might be feeling concerned. After all, root canals and brussel sprouts are two surprisingly bearable parts of life that television shows seem to constantly fear! But root canals aren’t anything to be afraid of – even the cost might be better than you thought. Read on below to find out more.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair a tooth so that it can continue to function normally. This tooth has usually suffered severe decay or infection, which has damaged the tissue in the tooth, also known as the pulp. During a root canal treatment, the pulp and nerve are removed and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and sealed, to get rid of any harmful bacteria and prevent any more from forming. The ‘root canal’ is actually the term for the natural cavity in the centre of the tooth, which is the ‘canal’ where the pulp, or root, connects to the tooth, as well as the tooths nerves.
The nerves in your teeth aren’t important to your tooth’s health and function once the tooth has erupted through your gums. The nerves will tell you whether the food you’re eating is hot or cold, but that is its only purpose and is hardly necessary.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
A root canal will usually require multiple visits to your dental clinic and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist. Simply put, an endodontist is a dentist who has specialised in the diagnosis, prevention, causes, and treatment of injuries and diseases to the delicate human dental pulp, or the nerve of the tooth in the root canal. Depending on the difficulty of your procedure and how comfortable your dentist is in his capabilities to perform it, you may be referred to an endodontist. A simple consultation with your dentist could settle the matter easily, where he or she will evaluate your particular condition and make a decision.
The first step to your root canal treatment procedure is to take an x-ray, where the dentist can identify the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of illness or infection in the surrounding bone. Your endodontist or dentist will use a local anaesthesia to numb the area, although often this is unnecessary as the nerve is already dead. However, this often helps to keep the patient at ease and many patients will even request Sleep Dentistry for a root canal procedure.
A hole will be drilled into the tooth so that the canal can be accessed for the pulp, harmful bacteria, and decaying nerve tissue can be removed from the tooth, and the canal is thoroughly scrubbed and flushed to ensure that any residing debris is removed.
Once the tooth is cleaned, the dentist will seal it. Your dentist might choose to wait a week before sealing the tooth, such as in cases where an infection may require medication prior to sealing. In these situations your dentist would use a temporary filling to keep any more contaminants from getting in, like saliva and food. Otherwise, your dentist may seal it up then and there, so you can continue eating, smiling, and laughing with your smile restored to its full function.