Do you have a sudden tooth pain or does your tooth feel more sensitive to hot and cold? If so, you might have a tooth infection. If an infected tooth isn't treated, it could affect your other teeth or even lead to tooth loss.
Root canal treatment can relieve tooth pain and save an infected tooth in most cases. Despite what some people think, root canal therapy is not usually more painful than getting a filling and it can prevent further discomfort.
If you think you might have an infected tooth, make an appointment with our dentists in Northbridge. We'll examine your mouth and discuss whether root canal therapy or another treatment could be the best choice for you.
Call (02) 9958 0400 to book a consultation at Sailors Bay Dentistry or contact us today.
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.
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:
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.
When you visit our North Shore dental clinic, your dentist will examine your mouth to look for any signs of a tooth infection. This will involve a dental x-ray to give us a closer look beneath the gums and help us to plan your treatment.
We'll explain what endodontic treatment involves and answer any questions you have about the procedure, so you can decide if it's right for you.
If you choose to have a root canal treatment in North Shore, we'll first administer local anaesthetic to numb your mouth so you won't feel any pain during the procedure. We'll isolate the tooth being treated using a rubber sheet to prevent debris from getting into your mouth and throat.
We'll then open the infected tooth using a dental drill and carefully remove all of the infected tissue from inside the tooth and root canal.
Once the infection has been removed, we'll clean and disinfect the root canal and shape it ready for an artificial filling. This can sometimes take more than one appointment, depending on the size of the tooth and how severe the infection is.
When the tooth has been prepared, we can then fill the cavity with a synthetic material that will be resistant to further infections.
The final stage of treatment is to close to the tooth using a white filling or a custom crown, depending on the size of the cavity. These restorations will be designed by your dentist to look like a natural tooth and blend in with the rest of your mouth.
At Sailors Bay Dentistry, we can prepare same day crowns using CEREC technology. If you choose a traditional crown, we'll cover your tooth with a temporary crown until your custom crown has been manufactured.
It's a common misconception that root canal treatments cause pain. The pain associated with endodontic treatment comes from the tooth infection itself, when bacteria irritate and inflame the nerves inside the tooth.
Having a root canal treatment actually helps to ease this pain, while also preventing further infections. At Sailors Bay Dentistry, we use the latest dental technology to help us improve the patient experience and reduce pain and discomfort.
As local anaesthesia is used to numb the mouth during root canal therapy, it's not usually more painful than having a general dental procedure. If you feel nervous about having a root canal, we can discuss sedation options such as intravenous sedation that could help you to relax.
Your mouth may feel sore after the treatment, but this can be managed by taking over-the-counter painkillers.
It can take a few days for discomfort and swelling to subside after root canal treatment, which can be managed with pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication. We'll also advise you to avoid hard or crunchy foods for several days to help your tooth and gum heal and make sure the crown or filling doesn't come loose.
It's important to maintain good oral hygiene and to brush and floss the treated tooth just like the rest of your teeth, so you can avoid problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. A root canaled tooth may sometimes darken over time after the pulp tissue has been removed, but it should still function like a normal tooth.
Root canal therapy is successful in most cases, but sometimes a tooth may become re-infected or cracked and need to be extracted. If the tooth darkens, we can discuss treatments to lighten its appearance, such as placing a larger crown.
The risk of complications following root canal therapy is minor, but we'll still make sure you're aware of the clinical risks so you can make an informed decision about your treatment.
A tooth infection can't always be avoided, but you can lower your risk of needing a root canal treatment in the future by keeping your teeth and gums healthy and wearing a mouthguard when playing sports to prevent dental injuries.
Keeping up with your regular dental check-ups will give our dentists the chance to spot a tooth infection and other oral health problems before they become serious.
Root canal therapy is usually the only way to save an infected tooth. Most teeth treated with endodontic therapy continue to function as normal and should last as long as the rest of your teeth with proper care.
The only alternative to root canal treatment is an extraction, but our dentists will always try to save a tooth rather than extract it. Losing a tooth can cause long-term problems if the surrounding teeth shift position and become crooked.
If you have a more serious infection of your teeth or gums, we may need to perform oral surgery to extract the infected tissue. We may also prescribe a course of antibiotics to help you fight an infection and stop it from spreading.
There's no fixed cost for root canal therapy, as this is based on how severe and complex the infection is and the type of restoration you choose. We can give you a quote for root canal treatment during your consultation.
If you have dental insurance, you should be able to claim part of the treatment on your health fund. We can also discuss finance options to help make your treatment more affordable.
To see a dentist or find out more about endodontic treatment, call 02 9958 0400 to speak to our friendly team at Sailors Bay Dentistry in Northbridge, close to Cammeray.
If you are based in one of these nearby suburbs Castlecrag, Lane Cove, Chatswood, Artarmon, Crows Nest or Naremburn and need emergency root canal treatment, please get in contact today and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Along with Dental Care Network™ we are offering the Corporate Dental Program, a zero-cost, zero-admin employee benefit scheme which provides you with exclusive benefits for dental treatment if you are an employee of one of our partnered corporate programs.