Root Canal Treatment Melbourne VIC | City Smiles Dentist

When dental decay rears its ugly head, many dentists may simply perform an extraction, however we like to preserve the natural tooth


How do you know if you need a root canal?

When the inner soft tissue (pulp) of a tooth’s root becomes infected, a root canal procedure is typically required. Indications of this issue may include tooth pain, gum sensitivity, persistent tooth sensitivity, or a change in tooth colour. In order to determine if a root canal is necessary, the dentist may need to perform an X-ray.

Similar to any other dental procedure, a local anaesthetic is administered around the tooth area during a root canal to numb the nerves and prevent pain throughout the procedure. Having a root canal treatment is no more painful than getting a cavity filled.

If an infected tooth is left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, causing serious complications. Here are some of the potential consequences of leaving an infected tooth untreated:

1. Spread of infection: The infection can spread to the gums, jawbone, or even the bloodstream, which can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition.

2. Tooth loss: The infection can cause irreversible damage to the tooth’s structure and root, which may lead to tooth loss.

3. Abscess formation: An abscess may form around the infected tooth, causing swelling and pain. If left untreated, the abscess can rupture and spread the infection to other parts of the body.

4. Sinusitis: An upper tooth infection can spread to the sinuses, causing sinusitis, which can result in nasal congestion, facial pain, and fever.

5. Osteomyelitis: The infection can spread to the jawbone, causing osteomyelitis, a serious condition that can cause bone loss and require surgery to remove the affected bone.

In summary, leaving an infected tooth untreated can have serious consequences, including the spread of infection, tooth loss, abscess formation, sinusitis, and osteomyelitis. It’s important to seek dental care promptly if you suspect you have an infected tooth.

The duration of a root canal procedure can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the location of the tooth, and the skill of the dentist. In general, a straightforward root canal treatment on a single tooth can take between 1 and 2 hours to complete.

However, more complex cases or teeth with multiple canals may require additional time. In some instances, a root canal procedure may be completed in a single visit, while in other cases, multiple visits may be needed to ensure thorough cleaning and effective sealing of the tooth.

Your dentist will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate of how long your root canal procedure is likely to take based on your individual circumstances.

While a crown is not always necessary after a root canal, it is often recommended to protect and strengthen the tooth, especially if the tooth was extensively damaged or weakened before the procedure. A crown helps restore the tooth’s structure, seals the tooth to prevent re-infection, improves its appearance, and ensures the long-term success of the root canal treatment. However, in some cases where the tooth is not significantly weakened or if it is a back tooth that does not undergo heavy chewing forces, a filling may be sufficient to restore the tooth. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you.

In many cases, your tooth should look and feel normal after a root canal procedure, especially once it has been restored with a crown or filling. The pain and discomfort associated with the infected tooth should subside, and any swelling or inflammation should also decrease. However, it is possible to experience some sensitivity or mild discomfort for a few days after the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. If you have any concerns about how your tooth looks or feels after a root canal, it is best to consult with your dentist for further evaluation and guidance.

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