Hi, Dr James here, and I’m one of the principal dentists at Elevate Dental.
Yesterday, I was speaking with one of our patients, Jess from Hawthorn. She needed to have root canal treatment for one of her teeth. She asked me, “James, I’m a bit scared… What’s the process of having a root canal treatment?” Root Canal therapy can sound scary, so I thought I’d make a video to share with you what I shared with Jess.
Deep inside each tooth root is a nerve or series of nerves. Sometimes, this nerve system can get infected for several reasons. There may be a hole in the tooth or dental decay that’s been left untreated for a long, long time. Over time, the bacteria spreads and ends up causing an infection in the nerve. There may sometimes also be a history of trauma to the tooth or cracks inside the tooth due to clenching or grinding habit. This also can lead to a nerve infection. Once a nerve is infected, the only option to save the tooth is to have root canal treatment.
This process takes between two to three visits and generally means the infected nerve is removed. Over these visits, the nerve or series of nerves is located inside the tooth, the exact size, shape, and length of each nerve in the tooth root is calculated, as this can vary from tooth to tooth and patient to patient. This nerve is then removed and the nerve space disinfected, an antibacterial dressing is placed in this space and allowed to work for a few weeks before the final visit.
At this appointment, this empty nerve space in the root is filled in using a biocompatible material. The tooth is then protected, either with a final reinforcing tooth-coloured filling or a ceramic dental crown. Root canal treatments have a 90% to 95% success rate. If the tooth is looked after very well, it can last for decades.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of what is involved in a root canal treatment, and how we can help you keep your teeth for as long as possible.
If you think you have an infection in your tooth and want a professional opinion on your options, we would love to look after you. We are conveniently located at both Hawthorn and Richmond, with onsite parking. Simply call us on 1300 2 SMILE, complete the form on our website, or direct message us on social media, and we’ll be in touch to help you organise your consultation. See you in the next video.
Note: All content and media on the Elevate Dental website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.