Emergency Dentist Brisbane - Root Canal or Extraction?
Pure Dentistry is an emergency dentist in Brisbane. In this article, she provides two options for dealing with a badly infected painful tooth.
Emergency Root Canal – Salvaging your own Natural Tooth
In a root canal, the canals inside the root of the tooth are cleaned. A root canal is recommended when a crack or cavity goes all the way to the nerve canal. It is a great way to repair a badly damaged tooth in an attempt to salvage your precious natural tooth.
Damaged tissues can cause severe pain. We remove the damaged tissue to relieve you from pain. It is done under local anaesthesia and the treatment itself is painless. Yes! Root Canal does not hurt!
Root canal treatment:
- Is cleaning and repairing technique.
- Does not cause pain!
- Feels like changing a filling.
- And is normally followed up by a dental crown
A dental crown is a cap that sits on the tooth and is required to further strengthen the structure of the tooth.
Teeth Extraction – Painless Removal of the Entire Tooth
Instead of repairing the tooth, you have the option of pulling the whole tooth and replacing it with a new artificial one.
- Tooth extraction can be an alternative option to Root Canal.
- It can be quicker and tends to cost less
- If the tissue damage is beyond repair, then extraction is the only option.
- The missing tooth can be restored with an implant
If you are planning to replace the missing tooth with an implant in future, you need to consider the cost of the implant insertion and also a dental crown that sits on the artificial root.
Extraction vs Root Canal - Cost and other Considerations
Root canal + dental crown option is more cost effective than extraction + implant + crown option.
Also, there is no 100% replacement for a natural tooth. A natural tooth should be saved when it is possible.
Both of these procedures are done using local anaesthesia and the procedures themselves are painless however, extraction is much more traumatic than a root canal.
Placement of an implant (or ridge) will require significantly more appointments and time and may require further procedures to your adjacent teeth or surrounding tissues.
The very best option is to try to save your natural tooth with a root canal when it is possible. Nothing, even the best implant technology, can replace your natural tooth. But there are cases that saving the natural tooth is only probable and there are also cases when it is just impossible and it must go to tooth heaven.
Complex Cracks in the Tooth – Repair or Replace?
Sometimes the pain is a result of a crack in the tooth structure. Some cracks are not deep and are simple to restore. However complex cracks are types of cracks that are deep and even hard to find because they are very fine and do not show up in X-ray images. Read more about the Diagnosis of cracked tooth syndrome.
Complex cracks are difficult situations and tend to end up in a dilemma both for the patients and the dentists. The guide below helps you in making the best choice of treatment.
I’d like to preserve my own natural tooth
Great. You should know that there is no adequate replacement equivalent to a natural tooth. In this case, it is best to try to repair and save the tooth with the Root Canal option and avoid extraction. Our Dentist will try to repair the damages and if the pain goes away, it can mean that the small crack issue has been removed during the treatment. You should consult with our dentist about the wait period before your dental crown appointment to ensure that the small cracks if any are not growing deeper into the pulp area.
I’d like to be certain about the Results
If preserving your own tooth is not an important factor for you and you’d like to have a higher level of certainty in complex cracked tooth treatment, then perhaps extraction and dental implant is the option that you should be considering. You need to be aware that this option is more traumatic than the root canal option and costs higher. However if the root canal fails due to the complex crack syndrome, for example, then you have no option than to extract the whole tooth and replacement with an implant.
What is a Root Canal?
In a word, a root canal, is a part of the tooth. It’s the hollow section that comprises the blood vessels, nerve tissue, and other cells.
As you may be aware, the tooth primarily consists of a crown and roots. The crown is the part above the gum, whereas the roots are below it. So, the root canal passes through the crown and the roots, nourishing the tooth and moisturising the surrounding material. The nerve inside the root canal is responsible for sensing hot and cold temperatures.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, variously known as endodontic treatment or root canal therapy, is the dental procedure for eliminating bacteria from the tooth by removing the infected or inflamed pulp. In other words, the treatment cleans out the bacteria in the root canals and protects the tooth from the progression of infection.
When the tooth decay extends to the soft-core, the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, and it can even die in worst-case scenarios. So to save the natural tooth, remove the decay, and prevent further infection, root canal treatment needs to be undertaken.
And the procedure is pretty straightforward; your dentist or endodontist removes the pulp and bacteria from the root canals, disinfects the area with antibiotics, fills the bare roots, and seals the area to prevent further infection. If you’re wondering, an endodontist is a dental professional who specialises in the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries and diseases of the tooth’s nerves and pulp. If you have a more severe root canal infection or the tooth’s canals have abnormal anatomy, your general dentist may recommend you see an endodontist.
What are the Signs that You Need Root Canal Treatment?
Knowing if the pulp of your tooth has been affected and you need a root canal is pretty straightforward. The section below takes a deeper dive into the top seven signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Persistent tooth pain. If you feel severe pain that doesn’t go away, that may be a sign you have a root canal infection. The pain may cut deep down into your tooth bone or may extend to your jaw, face, and other teeth, at times.
- Tooth discolouration. A pulp infection may cause the tooth to become discoloured, giving it a greyish-black appearance. Please note, however, that tooth discolouration may have other causes, but it’s always advisable to see your dentist if you notice the symptom.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold. Does your tooth hurt when you eat icy foods like ice cream or drink ice-cold water? Or perhaps you feel sensitivity pains when you eat warm food? That could be a sign that the nerves or blood vessels inside your root canal have been damaged.
- Swollen gums. When the pulp tissues die, they release acidic waste products, which may cause the gum to swell. Or worse, you may have a pimple in your gum called abscess, parulis, or boil. When left alone, the pimple may release the pus, infecting the tooth or causing an unpleasant taste in the mouth and leading to a bad smell.
- Tooth mobility. Acidic waste products due to nerve and pulp tissues death can cause the bone around the root canal to weaken, resulting in tooth mobility. When this happens, root canal therapy may be your best bet at avoiding further infection.
- A chipped or cracked tooth. You may have accidentally chipped or cracked your tooth from a contact sport or by applying extra force when chewing something. This creates a loophole for bacteria to set in and cause inflammation or diseases. In that case, you’ll need root canal treatment to remove the bacteria to prevent further infection.
- Pain when you touch the tooth. Severe tooth decay or nerve damage often leads to sensitivity pain when you feel the infected tooth. Thankfully, you can offset the pain by undergoing the root canal procedure.
What is the Step-by-Step Root Canal Procedure?
A qualified dentist or endodontist can remove the bacteria causing infection in your root canal in a specialised step-by-step procedure. It involves:
Step 1: Examining the Root Canal
Here, your dentist takes an X-ray of the infected tooth to see the root canal’s shape and determine whether the infection has extended to the surrounding bone. But first, the dentist administers local anaesthesia to numb the section near the infected tooth. At times, you may not need local anaesthesia since the nerves are already dead.
Step 2: Keeping the Area Dry
It’s overly critical that the area near the root canal remains dry and free from saliva during the procedure. As such, your dentist places a sheet of rubber (rubber dam) around the infected tooth to keep away moisture.
Step 3: Drilling an Access into the Tooth
In the next step, the dentist makes a tiny access hole on the tooth’s surface and lifts the dead pulp, bacteria, and decayed nerve tissue from the tooth using root canal files. The dentist then cleans the area by inserting a series of root canal files into the tiny access hole and scabbing the sides and bottom of the root canal. In the meantime, sodium hypochlorite and other irrigation solutions also get sprayed in the area to eliminate debris.
Step 4: Filling the Root Canal
You’re probably wondering, what happens to the root canal? A fully developed tooth can survive without the pulp. So after the dentist thoroughly cleans, shapes, and decontaminates the access hole, they fill it with a rubber-like material and use an adhesive cement to seal the canal permanently. Some dentists do this immediately after cleaning the tooth, while others wait at least a few weeks, especially if they put medication inside the canal to heal the infection first.
Step 5: Further Restoration of the Tooth
Since your tooth will no longer have a pulp, it will need further restoration to reduce vulnerabilities like decay or weakness. That’s where a crown or filling comes in handy. So you’ll need one more appointment for your dentist to place a dental crown, a post, or other restoration to help protect the tooth from breaking and restore its normal function. But until then, you should avoid biting or chewing hard food with the tooth. This is necessary to prevent the fragile tooth from breaking.
How Should You Care for Your Teeth after Root Canal Therapy?
Like any other medical procedure, a root canal has strict aftercare requirements that patients should implement to recover faster. These entail maintaining good oral hygiene, eating healthy, regular checkups, and avoiding some lifestyle habits like smoking.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
It’s a no-brainer; maintaining healthy oral hygiene eliminates bacteria that causes most dental complications in the first place. As such, you want to brush at least twice a day, floss between your teeth at least once a day, use fluoride toothpaste or rinse, and use an antiseptic mouthwash regularly.
Eating healthily means avoiding some food categories and having others more often to avoid further infection and hasten recovery. For instance, you want to avoid sugary and refined carbs, as they tend to stick to your teeth. If you must eat such delicacies, be sure to rinse your mouth immediately afterwards. You should eat more fibre-rich foods, vegetables, and fruits to reduce the risk of dental caries.
Go for Regular Checkups and Cleanings
It would be best if you also made a habit of visiting your dentist or endodontist for checkups after every six months to watch out for potential flaws and enter an early treatment before the issue advances. Attending professional dental checks up and clean at least once a year should also be part of your routine.
Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits
Mainly, you want to let go of smoking, as it increases your chances of needing another root canal procedure. Put into perspective, smokers are twice more likely to need the therapy than non-smokers, and the number increases if you keep up with the habit throughout the years.
Smoking nearly doubles the likelihood of root canal therapy
Pure Dentistry is a Dental Clinic in Brisbane. We are open 7 days a week for patients who make urgent dental care appointments. The practice is in Upper Mount Gravatt Shopping Village and provides emergency dental services to Brisbane residents near the following Southside suburbs:
- Emergency Dentist near Sunnybank 4109
- Emergency Dentist near Wishart 4122
- Emergency Dentist near Mansfield 4122
- Emergency Dentist near Runcorn 4113
- Emergency Dentist near Carindale 4152
- Emergency Dentist near Calamvale 4116
- Emergency Dentist near Drewvale 4116
- Emergency Dentist near Stretton 4116
Have you or your loved one been struggling with root canal issues like severe pain, tooth decay, sensitivity to hot & cold, swollen gums, or tooth mobility? If so, we can help! Pure Dentistry is a team of highly experienced and competent dentists who take pride in caring for patients with dental issues using the latest technologies and top-quality medical equipment. On top of that, we employ next-level expertise and professionalism to care for our patients and give them honest advice on the best cause of action regarding their dental complications. For the root canal treatment in Brisbane, Book an appointment online today!
Call us on (07) 3343 4869 or use our website to book online 24/7.