The endodontic process
Endodontic therapy is the removal of a damaged or infected pulp. Following removal, the root canals and pulp chamber are thoroughly cleaned, filled with strengthening filler and sealed with a temporary covering.
Discover what happens at Cockburn and Fremantle Orthodontics / Endodontics if you come to us for endodontic treatment.
Non-Surgical Root Canal
A non-surgical root canal is one of the most common dental procedures. Using all the latest technology, endodontists, specialists in the area of soft tissue inside the tooth, perform over 24 million root canals each year. Of those, approximately 95% are successful. Having a root canal will save your natural tooth, and you will not need a prosthetic, like a bridge or dental implant.
When the pulp inside the central part of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected, the endodontist will perform a root canal. Other common causes for the need of a root canal include severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements, tooth decay, a chipped or broken tooth, trauma to a tooth or swelling or tenderness near an infected tooth. The root canal involves extracting the decayed tooth pulp, reshaping the tooth’s canal and filling the canal with strengthening filler. All of the work is done to the inside of the tooth and will not affect the crown, the part of the tooth that is visible.
A common misconception is that a root canal is an uncomfortable procedure. Actually, root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal discomfort.
How the Root Canal is Performed
At our office, we place all our endodontic patients under local anesthesia. A rubber sheet is placed over your mouth, isolating the tooth, which makes sure debris and instruments do not fall into your mouth during the procedure. Our endodontist then opens the tooth slightly to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp. The tooth’s canal is then thoroughly cleaned, including any cracks. With special tools, our endodontist reshapes the tooth canal and fills it with cutting-edge biocompatible filling material. A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening, and we suggest you see your regular dentist as soon as possible for a permanent restoration of the tooth.
This procedure can usually be performed in one visit. If you have a more complicated or more diseased case, you may have to return for a second visit.
Before your endodontic procedure, please continue taking all of your prescribed medications. We do not require you to stop taking any medications, including blood thinners, as we do not anticipate much bleeding during your procedure.
If you are taking an antibiotic medication because of mitral valve prolapsed (MVP), heart murmur, a hip, knee, cardiac or other prosthesis, or if you have rheumatic heart disease, please take it on the day of your procedure. If you have a question about any medication you are taking, please call our office before your appointment.
Before coming to your appointment, please eat a full breakfast or lunch.
All our procedures are performed while the patient is under local anesthesia. After the procedure is performed, there are usually no restrictions concerning driving or returning to work. If you have any concerns, our doctor and staff are available to speak with you should a problem arise.
For seven to ten days after your procedure, your tooth and surrounding gums will be tender. This is normal after endodontic treatment. We ask that you do not chew food on the side of your mouth where the procedure was done until your tooth is covered with its protective restoration. Otherwise, you may continue your usual oral hygiene routine.
If you experience any pain or discomfort, you may take over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin or Acetaminophen. If you have swelling or major pain that can’t be controlled with these medications, please call our office at (08) 9412-3888 and (08) 9336-3646.
*Note: Drinking alcohol while taking the previously listed medications is not advised.