Arthur Street Dental | Coffs Harbour, NSW
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How to Manage a Root Canal

July 29, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Justin Ward
a dentist holds up a model of a tooth | root canals coffs harbour

The words root canal can be frightening. After all, you've already endured unimaginable pain and now you're faced with the decision of removing either part or all of your tooth. That may sound even more excruciating, however, there are root canal treatment options to minimise the amount of discomfort related to the dental procedure. Additionally, understanding exactly what has happened to your tooth and what to expect while in the operation can help you better prepare, help you select the correct solution and put your mind at ease.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the centre of a tooth. Within this pocket is pulp or the pulp chamber which is a soft area that houses the neurovascular bundles of the tooth. When these nerves become infected and begin to decay, root canal treatment is a necessary decision for patients. A root canals average life span is normally 10-15 years—although, it is difficult to determine since there are many factors that are involved in the development of a root canal. The type of injury that has caused the tooth to die—whether it was traumatic due to damage from a dental tool or chemical, or infected by bacteria from saliva—can affect the time line of a root canal.

How to treat a root canal

Once a root canal develops, patients have a couple of treatment options. If a patient chooses to have a root canal operation, a dentist performing the treatment disinfects the area by removing the decayed pulp and bacteria from the root canal. Finally, the tooth is filled with a saliva-proof sealant to ensure that bacteria cannot enter the inside of the tooth again and capped witha crown to finish the procedure. Patients may decide to have the tooth entirely extracted and replaced with a dental implant. This choice allows dentists to keep the tooth in place and then use the roots of the original tooth to build upon. Dental implants are a popular solution for many clients, but it is important to choose which treatment is right for your lifestyle.

Beating the pain

Sounds painful? However, the reality is that modern medicine and technology have improved the procedure to eliminate most of the pain associated with the procedure. It can be easy to relate the suffering leading up to diagnosis to the actual treatment, but that's just not the case. Its not really the treatment. In fact, in nearly every case, the operation to repair a root canal shouldn't be painful at all. Anaesthetics have vastly improved and are commonly profound and effective solutions, so patients shouldn't be feeling a thing during the treatment of root canal.

Following up after your procedure

Once you have completed your root canal treatment, after-care is quite straightforward and painless. Attending regular check-ups with your dentist is recommended to ensure that your root canal is healthy and sealed. Additional follow-up treatments should be available as well through your dentist

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.