You can practice great brushing technique and have good flossing habits, and still have problems with your teeth and gums even with regular check-ups at your general dentist. Tooth pain, increased sensitivity to hot or cold, injury and swelling are just some of the signs that indicate potential problems.
There are many causes for dental problems, including injury, decay or infection.
You may like to Google common dental symptoms to help understand the causes and possible solutions for your tooth pain. If you have on-going pain or discomfort, contact your dentist or we are happy to answer any concerns here at Cairns Periodontics.
If you have a diseased or injured tooth, it’s important to know and understand your treatment options. There may be multiple options available to you. Understanding your choices and their impact on your future dental health is important.
Your dentist will be able to advise you of proposed treatment and any available alternatives, so you can make a fully informed decision about your dental care.
Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you
love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have
had root canal treatment can last as long as other natural teeth and often for a lifetime.
Has a dentist told you that you need root canal treatment?
If so, you are not alone. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal Therapy. It is important to remember that root canal treatment does not cause pain, but relieves it.
Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps to grow the root of your tooth during development. In a fully developed tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Contrary to jokes about the matter, modern endodontic treatment is very similar to having a
routine filling and usually can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the
condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. You can expect a comfortable
experience during and after your appointment.
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:
With proper care, even teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime. But sometimes, a tooth that has been treated does not heal properly and can become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment.
If your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, you have a second chance. An additional procedure may be able to support healing and save your tooth.
If you are experiencing dental pain or discomfort in a previously treated tooth, talk to your dentist about retreatment.
As in any dental or medical procedures, a tooth may not heal as expected after the initial
treatment for a variety of reasons:
In other cases, a new problem can jeopardise a tooth that was successfully treated.
During retreatment, your dentist will reopen your tooth and remove the filling materials that
were placed in the root canals during the first procedure. He will then carefully examine the
tooth, looking for additional canals or new infection. The Dentist then removes any infection,
cleans and shapes the canals, and places new medicated materials. The opening is then
sealed with a temporary filling. Once the tooth heals, a new crown or other restoration is
placed on the tooth to protect it.
Occasionally, a nonsurgical root canal procedure alone cannot save your tooth and your
Dentist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate small fractures
or hidden canals that were not detected on x-rays or during previous treatment. Surgery
may also be needed to remove calcium deposits in root canals, or to treat damaged root
surfaces or the surrounding bone of the tooth.
There are many surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth. The most
common is called an apicoectomy, or root-end resection, which is occasionally needed
when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after
a root canal procedure. In this microsurgical procedure, the dentist opens the gum tissue
near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue.
The very end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of
the root canal and few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal. Over a period
of months, the bone heals around the end of the root. Local anaesthetics make the
procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the next day.
Postsurgical discomfort is generally mild.
Traumatic dental injuries often occur in accidents or sports-related injuries. Chipped teeth
account for the majority of all dental injuries. Dislodged or knocked-out teeth are examples
of less frequent, but more severe injuries. Treatment depends on the type, location and
severity of each injury. Any dental injury, even if apparently mild, requires examination by a
dentist or an endodontist immediately. Sometimes, neighbouring teeth suffer an additional,
unnoticed injury that will only be detected by a thorough dental exam.
To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the
tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft
tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and
creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.
The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
All dentists, including your general dentist, received training in endodontic treatment in
dental school. General dentists can perform endodontic procedures along with other dental
procedures, but often they refer patients needing endodontic treatment to endodontists.
Endodontists are dentists with special training in endodontic procedures. They provide only
endodontic services in their practices because they are specialists. To become specialists,
they complete dental school and additional two or more years of advanced training in
endodontics. They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex endodontic
procedures, including endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the
cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area for a few days after your root canal
treatment as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some
tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These
symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain
medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these
medications. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy,
and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after
your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or
pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact your dentist.
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final
restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
Contact your dentist as soon as possible to arrange your next appointment. If your tooth is
being treated in more than one visit by a dentist, do not return to your dentist for the final
restoration until the root canal treatment is completed.
The tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration
can last as long as your other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need
only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular check-ups and
Your dentist or endodontist may periodically x-ray the tooth to ensure that healing has
occurred. Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or
pain continues. At times, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years
after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, repeating the endodontic procedure can
save the tooth.
Patients today have more options than ever before to treat their teeth. Understanding your
choices and their impact on your future dental health and lifestyle is important. Read on to
learn why nothing is as good as your natural tooth and get simple tips for saving your teeth!
Saving a natural tooth through endodontic treatment should always be the first choice for
the best health and cosmetic results. There are many advantages to saving your natural
There are many misconceptions surrounding root canal (endodontic) treatment and whether
patients experience root canal pain. As always, when considering any medical procedure,
you should get as much information as you can about all of your options. Your dentist or
endodontist can answer many of your questions, and if you still have concerns, it is often
wise to seek a second opinion.
The perception of root canals being painful began decades ago but with modern technologies and anaesthetics; root canal treatment today is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. In fact, a recent survey showed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as "painless" than patients who have not had root canal treatment.
Most patients see their dentist or endodontist when they have a severe toothache. The
toothache can be caused by damaged tissues in the tooth. Root canal treatment removes
this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving the pain you feel.
Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth. An artificial tooth can sometimes cause
you to avoid certain foods. Keeping your own teeth is important so that you can continue to
enjoy the wide variety of foods necessary to maintain the proper nutrient balance in your
diet. If your dentist recommends extraction, ask whether root canal treatment is an option.
Endodontic treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost-effective way to treat
teeth with damaged pulp and is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a
bridge or an implant.
Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate. Many root canal-treated teeth last
Placement of a bridge or an implant will require significantly more time in treatment and
may result in further procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
Millions of healthy endodontically treated teeth serve patients all over the world, years and years after treatment. Those healthy teeth are helping patients chew efficiently, maintain the natural appearance of their smiles and enhance their enjoyment of life. Through endodontic treatment, endodontists and dentists worldwide enable patients to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.