Understanding root canal treatment: Procedure, recovery, and aftercare

When a tooth is affected by decay, wear and tear, gum disease, trauma and teeth grinding, root canal treatment is a common procedure that is used to treat the damaged or affected tooth. Root canal treatment helps you avoid the risk of developing a dental abscess or infection. 

At The Practice dental clinic in West End, our dentists frequently carry out this procedure and are highly experienced in providing effective root canal treatment to our patients.

To help you understand root canal treatment, let’s talk about the procedure, recovery and aftercare. 

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is a procedure that replaces the damaged or infected nerve in the tooth with a filling. Root canal treatment provides a way to save the tooth by removing the infected pulp and preventing any further infection.

Are you a candidate for root canal treatment? 

Your dentist will examine your tooth to determine if you’re a good candidate for root canal treatment. If a nerve in your tooth has died, you may experience pain and swelling. If you’re unable to bite down on a tooth, have sensitivity to hot and cold or have a discoloured tooth, the nerve in your tooth may be dead. This means you could be a good candidate for root canal treatment. 

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Root canal treatment – the procedure

Root canal treatment involves carefully cleaning, preparing and sterilising the nerve canal. Once the canal is ready, it is filled with a suitable material. In the past, extraction of the tooth was often necessary, but with modern advancements, root canal treatment allows you to save and keep your natural tooth.

Root canal treatment includes the following steps and requires several appointments at our dental practice in South Brisbane

  1. Examination/diagnosis: During your appointment at our West End dental practice, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive examination, which will include dental X-rays to inspect the damage inside the tooth. Your dentist will also use these X-rays and other instruments to determine the length of each root before and during the treatment. 
  2. Your dentist will administer local anaesthetic to ensure your root canal treatment is pain-free. Your dentist will isolate the tooth using a rubber dam, which is a sheet of plastic that creates a clean area around the tooth so it’s not contaminated by your saliva or bacteria. 
  3. Your dentist will make an opening in the tooth so they can reach the pulp, then the pulp will be removed. 
  4. Then, the root canal is cleaned, disinfected and shaped to remove any bacteria or other debris that may be present. 
  5. The root canal is then filled with a temporary filling. 
  6. Finally, a dental crown is placed over the tooth to improve its strength, function and appearance. 

Root canal treatment recovery

While root canal treatment is pain-free, patients may experience some discomfort and sensitivity after the procedure. 

After root canal treatment at The Practice, we will provide you with comprehensive aftercare instructions:

  • Medication: We may prescribe medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to manage any discomfort. 
  • Avoid chewing on hard food: After root canal treatment it’s vital to avoid chewing on hard objects like ice or hard sweets.
  • Practise good oral hygiene: It’s essential to practise good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing daily.
  • Manage your diet: After root canal treatment our dentists recommend eating softer foods and avoiding any unnecessary pressure on the tooth. Slowly incorporate solid foods over time. 
  • Regular dental appointments: Post root canal treatment you must attend all appointments so your dentist can check the tooth is healing properly and functioning correctly. 

Root canal treatment at The Practice West End

If you’re a candidate, root canal treatment is an incredible way to avoid tooth extraction. Dentists at The Practice dental clinic regularly perform root canal treatment and it is an easy, pain-free procedure. To book your appointment and find out if you’re a candidate for root canal treatment, contact us online or call 07 3733 3223.

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