Root Canal Brisbane | Bracken Ridge Dental

Root Canal Treatment

When is root canal treatment needed?

Root canal therapy is the only effective treatment for a tooth with a damaged or infected pulp. The dental pulp is the soft tissues inside the tooth that contain nerves and blood vessels. You may need a root canal if:

  • you have a constant toothache or pain when eating
  • your tooth feels more sensitive to heat and cold
  • your tooth looks darker
  • your tooth feels loose
  • the gum around a tooth is swollen
  • you have other swelling in your face or neck

If you have some of these symptoms, make an appointment with our dentists so we can examine your teeth and discuss whether a root canal or other treatment is needed. A tooth may be infected without showing obvious signs, so it's important to keep up with your regular dental check-ups.

What can happen if I don't get treatment?

It's recommended to have an infected tooth treated as soon as possible. If an infection spreads, it may lead to other problems such as a dental abscess that may require more intensive surgery.

If a tooth is too badly damaged to repair with root canal treatment, the only option will be to extract it. A missing tooth will leave a gap in your smile and can affect the teeth surrounding it, which may go crooked without support. Our dentists recommend trying to save a tooth whenever possible.

What does the root canal procedure involve?

Your dentist will make sure you know what to expect so you can decide whether root canal therapy is right for you. The procedure involves 5 stages.

1. Preparation
Examining your tooth using x-rays to determine the extent of the damage and plan your treatment. We will isolate the tooth and administer local anaesthetic or other sedation to make sure you don't feel pain.

2. Removing the dental pulp
Drilling into the tooth and carefully removing the infected tissue.

3. Disinfecting the root canals
Cleaning and sterilising the tooth to make sure all bacteria are removed. This may involve more than one appointment, depending on the size of the root canals.

4. Filling the root canals
Reshaping the root canals and placing a sterile filling material inside to protect the tooth.

5. Sealing the tooth
Placing a crown or large filling over the tooth to restore its strength and appearance.

Cleaning and shaping the root canals can involve multiple appointments. In these cases, we will place a temporary filling to protect the tooth between visits.

Is a root canal painful?

Many people associate root canal treatments with pain, when in fact the procedure helps to remove the pain of an infected tooth. Like all treatments at Bracken Ridge Dental, we use local anaesthesia to numb your mouth so you won't feel any pain.

If you feel nervous about the procedure and want help to feel calm or extra pain relief, we can offer other sedation options including oral sedatives and nitrous oxide.

What to expect after root canal treatment

Root canal treatment at Bracken Ridge Dental has a very high success rate. Your treated tooth should function as normal, but without the pulp it won't feel sensations. Some teeth also darken over time.

Your mouth may feel sore or experience swelling for a few days after treatment. This can be relieved with over-the-counter medication. We advise eating soft foods for a few days to give your tooth the chance to recover.

We'll arrange a follow-up appointment to check that your mouth is healing normally and that there are no further signs of infection.