While a tooth with a damaged pulp would have once been removed, it can now be saved with endodontic treatment (or root canal treatment). Smile approved dentists perform this safe and common treatment on patients of all ages.
Endodontic treatment helps to save your smile when your teeth have a diseased or injured nerve while preventing the infection from spreading.
Each tooth contains pulp that provides nerves and nutrients. If it becomes damaged or diseased, the pulp tissue can die. During endodontic treatment, your dentist cleans out the diseased pulp and reshapes the canal to save the affected tooth. A crown is then applied to the tooth to make it stronger.
The most common symptoms of a diseased or damaged pulp tissue include:
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you will need to consult a dentist to determine the cause. They may also be a sign of other health issues.
Several factors can cause pulp tissue to become infected. These include:
The most effective way to prevent pulp damage or disease is to maintain good oral hygiene through brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily. Regular dental visits are important for ensuring your oral health.
An infected pulp cannot heal on its own. If left untreated, it could result in:
The infection can also spread to surrounding teeth, potentially causing:
Putting off endodontic treatment can make it impossible for your dentist to save your tooth. Don’t leave it too late, visit your nearest Smile approved dentist to save your natural smile.
Having an endodontic treatment today is usually as simple as getting a filling, but this can vary depending on the individual circumstances of the patient. The following steps are a guide to the general sequence of an endodontic treatment procedure:
Endodontic treatment is generally a simple procedure with little or no discomfort, but your experience will depend on your situation and may not follow these exact steps.
Regular patients can pay up to $1,448 (in QLD) for a root canal treatment, but Smile members pay just $870. See a breakdown of each individual root canal treatment and how much Smile can save you below.
Simply select your state for the relevant Smile member savings.
More than 95% of endodontic treatments are successful. Every now and then, a case may need a repeated treatment. This could be in the rare event that a patient has infected canal offshoots that were initially undetected, or if the canal filing instrument fractures. If you have returned pain following an endodontic treatment, this can be a sign that it wasn’t completed correctly.
You should expect to feel completely normal after a few days as the recovery period following endodontic treatment is minimal. You may experience inflammation and discomfort during this time, which can be treated with a warm saltwater rinse and painkillers.
Depending on your individual situation, your dentist may request a follow up appointment to ensure the procedure was successful and you are healing well.
It's important to return to your dentist at least once every six months for a professional cleaning and examination.
The only other option to endodontic treatment is to have the tooth removed. This can cause the neighbouring teeth to move and leave you with a bad bite. While having your tooth extracted may cost less, the space it leaves behind will need an implant or bridge, which can ultimately cost more than endodontic treatment.
When given the choice, it is always best to keep your natural teeth.
For quality and affordable dental care, get a Smile plan and choose an approved dentist. Call us today on 1300 238 648.
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