Your tooth consists of two main parts: the crown, which is the part of the tooth above the gums and visible in your mouth; and the root or roots which is the part of the tooth that lies beneath the gum and is surrounded by bone.
Inside each root is a channel that runs the length of the tooth. This channel is the root canal and contains the pulp (nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissue), which is often referred to as the “nerve” of the tooth.
Bacteria associated with decay, very deep restorations, trauma and periodontal disease may irreversibly damage the pulp. In order to preserve a tooth in which this has occurred, it is necessary to remove the affected pulp tissue. This procedure is known as endodontic or root canal therapy.
Since endodontic therapy is concerned with removing only the injured pulp from the root canal, the root will continue to function normally because the supporting tissues are unharmed. It is advisable to remove an injured pulp because it may become infected or act as an irritant to the tissue surrounding the tooth.
Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction.
Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your endodontist will recommend surgery.
Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure.
The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicectomy or root-end resection.
NB: Most surgical procedures are carried out under Intravenous Sedation.
No. X-Rays are an essential part of quality endodontic therapy. A major concern in our practice has been to minimise and further reduce the already low level of radiation required. We use an advanced computer generated digital x-ray system. Among the advantages of this system is an 80% reduction in patient exposure to radiation and improved image definition.
Our practice adheres to the highest standards of infection control in accordance with the National Law and Dental Board of Australia guidelines.
Most of the instrumentation used in your treatment are single use (not for re-use) and disposed of appropriately. Where equipment is not disposable, it is disinfected and sterilized. The accreditation of our practice gives you confidence that our procedures and care follow best practice guidelines.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their practice for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion of treatment.
Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.
It is not uncommon for patients to experience post- treatment symptoms. Please contact our practice if you have any concerns.
For further information, please refer to the following fact sheets:
The injured pulp is removed, and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anaesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavourable, you will be informed at the time of consultation, or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. Root Canal Therapy is mostly a highly predictable treatment. The success rate will vary according to the condition of the tooth.
We use local anaesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you will probably be comfortable to return to your normal routine.
We offer treatment under Intravenous Sedation for very anxious patients and for most surgical procedures.
The fee for endodontic therapy is determined by the complexity of the tooth being treated. When a surgical procedure is indicated before, or becomes evident during or after endodontic therapy, a separate fee will be charged.
Consultation fees are payable at the time of consultation. It is the policy of this office that fees for treatment are paid in full at the completion of the treatment.
We welcome MasterCard, Visa, Amex, EFTPOS and Cash.
If you are interested in third party payment plans, please speak to the reception team.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.