What is root canal therapy?
A root canal is a hollow space inside the tooth that contains soft tissue called the dental pulp. This pulp contains blood vessels and nerves, which nourish the tooth while it's developing, but can also cause pain and sensitivity if the tissue becomes infected.
Root canals can get infected when the dental pulp is exposed to bacteria. This can happen if a tooth gets damaged or worn down. The sooner a root canal infection can be treated, the more likely it is that your dentist can save your tooth.
Root canal therapy (endodontic therapy) is a procedure performed by a dentist to remove infected pulp tissue, disinfect the root canal and fill and seal the cavity with a filling or dental crown. This takes away the pain and discomfort and restores the function and appearance of the tooth.
Endodontic treatment may be performed by an appropriately qualified dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist). You may be referred to specialist endodontists if you have a more complex case.
Do I need a root canal treatment?
A tooth infection can happen as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, a broken filling or injuries to the tooth exposing the inside.
Some of the signs that you might have a root canal problem are:
- Your tooth hurts when you eat
- Your teeth feel more sensitive to temperature or pressure
- Your tooth has turned dark or changed colour
- Your gum is swollen or has a pimple
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, call our dentists in Northbridge on 02 9958 0400 to schedule a check-up and discuss your root canal treatment options.
Sometimes a tooth infection doesn't have any obvious symptoms, which is why it's important to keep up with your regular dental visits. If you also have swelling in your face or pus is coming out of the gum, you should make an emergency appointment with your dentist, as this could be a dental abscess.