I need a root canal. How can a specialist endodontist help me?


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Melbourne's Home of Dentistry

What is an Endodontist and what do they do?

Specialist Endodontists are specialists in diagnosing and treating the pain caused from toothaches, damaged or diseased teeth. This type of pain can often be difficult to pinpoint because of the large amount of nerves in the mouth, and can sometimes be felt in another tooth, the head, neck or ear.

Endodontists hold a general dentistry degree and a Masters of Endodontics. This involves a further three years of advanced education specific to the treatment of the soft tissue around the nerve of the tooth, called the pulp.

Specialist Endodontists are registered specialists with the Dental Board of Australia. Always check the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website to check the registration of a specialist.

Why have I been referred?

If you’ve been referred to see a specialist endodontists, you may be experiencing pain that your dentist believes could benefit from specialised care. This might be a traumatic tooth injury or a tooth that requires root canal treatment.

When it comes to having endodontic treatment, specialist training and experience can go a long way in the likelihood of a successful outcome. It’s for this reason that many dentists choose to refer their patients to specialist endodontists.

Why do I need a root canal?

Inside every tooth is a network of nerves and red blood vessels called the pulp. The pulp’s job is to sense temperature, pressure, pain, and to produce moisture and nutrients.

If a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, the pulp is exposed to bacteria and can become inflamed or infected. If it is unable to fight the infection, the pulp dies.

If infected, your tooth may be very sensitive to high or low temperatures, be painful to chew on, and there may be a continuous, throbbing pain. Without root canal therapy, the infection will spread and the tooth will eventually loosen and fall out.

What happens during root canal treatment?

Root canal (or endodontic treatment) is when inflamed or dead pulp is removed from inside the tooth under local anaesthetic.

 During treatment your endodontist will remove the inflamed and infected pulp then the empty space will then be cleaned, sterilised and completely sealed. Treatment time depends on the degree of infection.

Root canal has a very high degree of success – up to 90%. Your Smile Solutions Endodontist will discuss with you the chances of success before any root canal procedure and help you make an informed decision.

Will I need a follow up appointment?

Once your root canal is completed, your tooth should be examined periodically, usually every 6-12 months (in addition to your general dental check-up) to make sure the tooth is sealed and the area is healing properly. 

Relapse and re-treatment

Very occasionally, a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment, fails or pain persists. Although rare, sometimes a tooth will initially respond but become painful or diseased months or years later. In these instances, the tooth can usually be maintained with further endodontic treatment.

Making an appointment to see a Smile Solutions specialist endodontists

Smile Solutions has several highly experienced registered specialist endodontists. You do not need a referral to make an appointment. Simply call the friendly team at Smile Solutions reception on (03) 9650 4920.

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*The contents of this blog post are of a general nature only and may not apply to your specific circumstances. As every person is different we always recommend that you visit a qualified dental practitioner to obtain tailored dental advice to suit your own specific needs.

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