What can I expect after root canal treatment?

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General Dental Care
BDSc (Melb), LDS (Vic)

Root Canal TreatmentRoot canal treatment is the treatment of the inside of the tooth. This specialised procedure is best performed by an endodontist, or root canal specialist.

Root canal treatment is performed on dead, dying or occasionally vital or live teeth. Sometimes there is an infection of the pulp or tissue (also called the nerve) within the tooth structure.

After treatment it is often advisable to have a crown or similar tooth restoration fitted so as to protect the already compromised tooth and aim to prevent cracking or splitting of the remaining tooth structure.

You can reasonably expect many years of functionality from any tooth treated by a root canal specialist. However, for a tooth to require root canal therapy, it has usually already suffered from decay, wear or trauma – all of which can compromise the structural integrity of the tooth. Hence there are instances in which root canal treatment does not achieve a definitively favourable result. These include:

  • problems that arise immediately or shortly after the treatment and those that occur some years later;
  • residual infection as a result of inability to effectively remove all the “nerve” tissue due to complexity of the root canal system (e.g. curved roots, accessory canals and additional canals);
  • a crack or split in the root which often requires removal of the tooth;
  • some post-treatment sensitivity or pain from the trauma of treatment or occlusion (or biting) effects if the tooth super-erupts as a result of inflammation. Sometimes excess material escapes into the surrounding tissue.

Problems that can occur some time later are infection or a split in the root or tooth, necessitating its extraction. If the tooth needs extraction at some time in the future then sometimes an implant-supported tooth can be an option.

At Smile Solutions we have general dentists and specialist endodontists all working together under one roof, so we are very well placed to address your immediate and long-term root canal needs, making it our priority to help you understand all possible scenarios and to work towards the most favourable outcome for you.

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