Nothing strikes fear into a patient more than hearing the words you need a root canal treatment. It is synonymous with lengthy, painful dental work – or at least it used to be.
Today, those old fears about getting a root canal can be laid to rest.
Here at SDAI we are experts in the latest procedures and cutting edge technology used in root canal treatment.
Add that to our holistic approach to dentistry – we do everything possible to minimize the time required for your root canal therapy, reduce bacteria in the mouth, and treat you with less pain.
What is a root canal treatment?
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontics, is a dental procedure used to treat infection in the middle of a tooth. To explain in a bit more detail, we need to look at the tooth itself, and what it’s made of.
The enamel makes up the hard, outer coating of teeth. Tooth enamel is actually the hardest substance in your body, and is made up of mostly minerals. Enamel is the first line of defence when it comes to protecting your teeth from decay, so it is important to do everything that you can to prevent your enamel from eroding.
Dentine is the middle layer of the tooth and lies under the enamel. Making up most of the tooth, any decay that reaches the dentine can spread quickly, and so needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible.
Cementum is a hard, bone-like material that coats the root’s surface, allowing it to attach to the gum and jaw. Cementum grows continuously throughout life and thus is a great indicator of forensic age estimation.
Dental pulp is the soft tissue at the centre of the tooth. It is in this part of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are contained. This is the part of the tooth with sensitivity, which alerts you to the temperature of food and detects pain.
Imagine a tooth like an egg; the enamel is the hard outer shell, the dentine is the white albumin, and the pulp is the soft yolk.
If you get a hole in your enamel, it opens the door to bacteria working their way inside your tooth. If they get far enough in and reach the pulp, then you may need a root canal.
What happens during a procedure
Bacteria inside your tooth will eventually kill the organic pulp, so it’s important to remove them before that happens.
The procedure starts with an examination and x-ray, so the dentist knows exactly what they are looking at. After numbing the tooth with an anaesthetic, a rubber sheet (or dental dam) is placed over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
The dentist will then open the tooth at the top and, using very small instruments, clean out the infected pulp. Once the root is cleaned out, it is traditionally filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha.
What happens if you leave it?
If you need a root canal it’s because you have an infected tooth. If you don’t get it attended to, then like all infections, it’s going to spread.
If it spreads, it could infect your gum and jawbone, and worse case scenario, you might even lose part of your jaw!
An infection might also lead to an abscess, and even sepsis, which in turn could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Root canal treatment with SDAI
As with all our treatments, our approach to root canal therapy is a holistic one, coupled with the latest advancements in technology. Some of the ways we’ve found to make your root canals more successful and enjoyable include:
Laser Root Canal Treatments
Laser light penetrates deeper than previous root canal methods, removing bacteria while leaving the surrounding tissue undamaged. Where traditional tools would clean out the tooth’s root, using laser can further sterilise it, which increases your chances of a successful procedure.
With our cutting edge, laser root canal treatment you’ll have less inflammation, swelling and discomfort, which can often be felt as the anaesthesia wears off, along with a reduced possibility of side effects from the procedure.
One of the biggest benefits of this advanced procedure is a visit with minimal or no local anaesthesia.
If you have any questions about root canal therapy, or how we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on (02) 9233 3301, or drop us an email.
Our friendly and helpful staff will be only too happy to answer any questions you may have.