Years ago when you went to your dentist with a throbbing toothache or an infection it was generally common practice to pull the tooth out. These days with advances in technology we realise that it is important to keep our teeth rather than having them pulled out and leaving a gap or needing a denture. It is important to keep our natural teeth because these are the best chewing surfaces that we can have and teeth also keep the shape of mouth. When we start pulling out teeth we can get bone loss where the tooth has been pulled and this can affect the way we look.

In the dental world today that same tooth that you may have once had taken out can be saved with what is called a Root Canal Treatment.

A root canal treatment is required when the nerve inside the tooth has decayed and died. The nerve inside a tooth may die for any number of reasons; it could die from a deep cavity or a decay reaching the nerve, trauma to the tooth or even a very deep filling may result in the nerve slowly dying over a period of time during which you may experience no pain until the very end.

When a nerve dies it usually starts in the pulp chamber and works its way down the canals. Often when the last part of the nerve is dying is when it is most painful. Frequently there can be an infectious process and you may develop an abscess.

Root canal treatment is the term used for the procedure of cleaning, shaping and filling the root of the tooth. It is vital to have a root canal treatment when the nerve inside your tooth has died and the tooth need to be saved. The treatment is usually carried out over several appointments, usually 2-3, depending on the degree of infection and the number and complexity of the canals.

In order to perform a root canal treatment on a tooth, the area where the nerve used to be needs to be cleaned of all bacteria and other organic residue. This is achieved by using specially designed files that are fine and flexible enough to safely go inside the tooth and follow the outline of the canal. This is followed by copious irrigation of the canals by various antiseptic agents. The canals of the tooth are then shaped using different files to allow the insertion of a sealant. Once the canals are sealed the tooth can be restored using various methods depending on the damage the tooth had sustained. If necessary, a crown is placed over the tooth to help protect the tooth and give it strength.

There may be minor discomfort after the root canal treatment; this can be easily controlled with over the counter painkillers. Root canal treatments have a very high success rate and the tooth is almost always functional again after the treatment. After the root canal treatment is complete, with regular checkups and proper hygiene, it could last as long as the rest of your teeth. I am sure if you ask anybody who has lost their teeth due to neglect and improper dental care they will tell you they wish they still had their own natural teeth.

If you have a horrible toothache, and you suspect it may need root canal treatment, contact one of our friendly dentists here at Balaclava Dental Care on 03 95277278 and make an appointment as soon as possible. At that time, the dentist will examine your teeth, listen to your symptoms, and take x-rays of your mouth if necessary. The extent of the damage to the pulp and root of your diseased tooth will indicate what treatment is necessary to get you out of pain and save your tooth for you.

Maintaining good oral health is important throughout your life from infancy through the senior years.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss your teeth once a day
  • Get regular dental check-ups and professional teeth cleaning
  • Eat a balanced, low-sugar diet

Once you establish proper dental hygiene habits, you should maintain them throughout your lifetime.

Smoking and all forms of tobacco are harmful to your oral health and bad for you in general, possible oral health impacts include:

  • stained teeth and tongue
  • bad breath
  • dulled sense of taste and smell
  • slow healing after a tooth extraction or oral surgery
  • difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
  • gum disease and tooth loss
  • oral cancer

Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of these and other tobacco-related health problems

A white smile is a great accessory for everyone.

Talk to us to find out which whitening option is right for you.
Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours. Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from daily oral hygiene and regular cleanings at your dentist’s office, but if you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your whitening options.

(by College of Dentistry, university of Florida)


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322 Carlisle st. Balaclava, VIC 3183, Australia
P: 03 9527 7278
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