Root canal therapy is possibly the most feared and talked about procedure for dental health. However, while many may know the name, many Australians have no idea what root canal therapy involves or why they might need it.
Below is information outlining the procedure, possible scenarios that may require a root canal and typical symptoms and signs you may want to look out for.
What is the procedure for Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal typically involves the removal of infected pulp, or dead and decaying nerves, from the tooth to prevent and reduce further incidences of pain.
But don’t worry. The presence of the nerve isn’t vital, as it merely provides a sensory function – feeling heat or cold – and its absence won’t hinder the everyday function of your mouth.
After the pulp and nerve have been removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed to prevent further damage.
Why Would I Need Root Canal Therapy?
There are quite a few reasons why you may need a root canal, and they can include:
- Dental Decay or Trauma – A dead or decaying nerve within a tooth can lead to significant pain as it dies off, and deteriorating or damaged teeth can also lead to inflammation of the pulp tissue. The removal of the pulp and the nerve can prevent the spread of further infection and or disease.
- An Abscess is commonly present when a tooth becomes simply too painful to bite down on, and relief can come from removing the nerve.
- Extreme Tooth Sensitivity – If sensations within your mouth become too much to handle, and you find eating or drinking a nightmare, a root canal procedure may be your last resort for relief.
- An Exposed Nerve – Significant damage to a tooth may result in the exposure of a nerve leading to severe pain and discomfort.
- Multiple Dental Procedures – Undergoing several dental procedures on a single tooth can also lead to nerve and dental pain exposure.
Signs and Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms indicating you may need a root canal can include:
- Severe ache or pain when biting down.
- Your tooth has changed colour and is getting darker.
- Prolonged pain after eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages.
- Infection in the gums resembling a pimple.
- Inflammation and tender gums.
How Much Does a Root Canal Treatment Cost?
Like many procedures, the cost of a root canal can vary and often depends on your private health coverage and the level and complexity of restoration work needed.