When Do I Need A Root Canal Treatment?

If you’re suffering from tooth pain due to serious decay or infection in the tooth pulp, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. A root canal is a multi-step dental procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp from your tooth and sealing it to protect against future pain. So how do you know when you need a root canal treatment and what is involved?


Diagnosing A Root Canal Treatment

Whilst there are some obvious signs of decay or infection that nearly everyone is familiar with, there are also a number of less apparent signs that only your dentist may discover. To make an accurate diagnosis about your need for a root canal treatment, your dentist will evaluate the information about the symptoms you have noticed, combined with their own detected signs and additional testing.


Pain Is Not Always A Sign

Many teeth that need root canal treatment will not cause pain, but that doesn’t mean the tooth is okay. Your dentist has ways to see if the tooth's pulp is damaged or infected. If it is, then you will need root canal treatment, even if the tooth doesn't hurt. If you see something near a damaged tooth that looks like a pimple, you need to see your dentist. This “pimple," is called a fistula and is a tunnel of tissue draining pus from an infection. There is no pain because the fistula keeps pressure from building in the tissue.


Risks Of Avoiding Root Canal Treatment

Although patients are sometimes reluctant, there are several risks involved with not getting a root canal in a tooth in which it is needed. First, is the loss of the affected tooth; second, is the spread of the infection and abscess to another tooth; third, is a possible infection in the face and neck. Left untreated the infection could even spread to your brain, resulting in death. If you are unable to have a root canal, you should consider having the tooth extracted or undergoing dental laser surgery.


How A Root Canal Procedure Works

  • X-rays: Before your actual root canal procedure, your dentist will take x-rays to assess how badly infected the tooth is.
  • Numbing: The first step of the actual procedure is a local anaesthetic, which will numb the area of the mouth being worked on and prevent teeth pain during the procedure.
  • Cleaning: Your dentist will carefully make an opening, usually in the crown of the tooth, and use special tools to clean out the decayed pulp from the space.
  • Draining: In some cases, your dentist may leave the damaged tooth open to allow additional material to drain out before it is filled and sealed. Some dentists may put a temporary filling in the tooth to protect the area while the infected material drains away completely.


Talk To Your Dentist

If you suspect you may need a root canal treatment or are due for a check up, call Dundas Dental in Sydney on 02 9199 0782 to book an appointment today.