1. What is root canal treatment
To understand root canal treatment (RCT), it helps to understand the anatomy of the tooth. Inside your tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp which contains blood vessels & nerves that are important for the tooth’s growth and development. RCT is a procedure in which the pulp is replaced by a filling (if the pulp has been damaged or infected)
2. How do I know if I need RCT
You should speak to your dentist if you experience the following symptoms:
- Severe pain while chewing/biting
- Lingering sensitivity to hot/cold, even after being exposed to hot/cold
- Pimples on the gums
- Swollen or tender gums
Darkening of the gums/deep decay
It is best to visit your dentist before any of these symptoms appear, to help prevent the need for RCT. Often, a simple filling can help resolve the problem if caught early.
3. Does RCT hurt
With the aid of modern techniques and anaesthetics, most patients report t hat they are comfortable during the procedure. Compared to a severe toothache though, RCT is a walk in the park!
4. What is involved in the RCT procedure?
Root canal generally takes 2-3 appointments
First appointment: we remove active decay and infection – any leaky or broken fillings, infected nerve tissues and pus are removed during this appointment to ensure the patient is out of pain.
Second appointment: shaping the canals into smooth and hollow tunnels to make sure bacteria have nowhere to stick to. This process involves small instruments, special disinfectants and strong medication to kill any stubborn bacteria within the tooth.
Third appointment: filling the canals with a long lasting filling material to prevent bacteria from re-entering the empty canals of the tooth.
Sometimes, 1st and 2nd appointments can be done in one go depending on the tooth and the complexity of the procedure.
5. How much does it cost
Costs depend on the complexity of the problem and which tooth is affected. Molar teeth generally cost more due to having more roots, hence more difficult to treat. It is best to ask your dentist for an accurate quote during a consultation appointment.
To learn more about RCT or if you’d like to prevent getting one, call us on (03) 9786 2144 for a check-up appointment!