Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy can save your natural teeth that would otherwise be extracted. It is a simpler, less invasive, and much less costly procedure than a dental implant or a dental bridge.

Root Canal Treatment (also known as Endodontic Treatment) is needed when the tissues inside the tooth become unhealthy and infected. Often, you may need a root canal because there is a large cavity with bacteria contaminating the inside of the tooth, but other reasons include a crack in the tooth or an injury/trauma jolting the tooth enough to disrupt its blood supply.

Endodontic treatment is a comfortable procedure designed to relieve pain and save your tooth, as there is no real substitute for your own tooth (it is far more efficient at chewing and biting than an artificial tooth). Far from causing pain, root canal procedures relieve pain and prevent future discomforts as well.

If you are suffering from severe tooth pain or have a badly damaged or infected tooth, do not wait to receive treatment. Our experienced and knowledgeable dental team in Southport on the Gold Coast are able to provide our patients with a comfortable and professional experience.

Schedule your appointment today to get started on saving your tooth and preserving your smile. Call (07) 5588 3677 or click here to BOOK ONLINE and someone from our Gold Coast practice will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Schedule an Appointment Now

or call us on (07) 5588 3677



What is a root canal?

Root Canal Southport

The root canal is the central part of the tooth that holds the dental pulp. The procedure to remove infected pulp is known as Root Canal Therapy and it is a safe, effective, and quick way to preserve the quality and appearance of your smile.

There are several layers to your teeth, with the dental pulp in a central canal that usually extends through each tooth root. The pulp consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, nerves, and other cells. It is the living part of your tooth, and it is responsible for tooth growth in your younger years as well as much of the sensation we feel in our teeth.

The inflammation of the pulp is called pulpitis, and it is usually caused by infection.

Common reasons for pulp infection include:

  • Traumatic injury
  • Deep caries (cavities) that extend into the pulp area
  • Cracks or chips that cause the pulp to be exposed
  • Side effects of other dental treatments

If a pulp infection is left untreated, it can spread through the rest of the tooth and beyond, causing tooth loss or other medical emergencies.

However, if the pulp is removed and the cavity cleaned and sealed, the tooth can often be saved, giving it extra years of use and preventing other health complications. Ultimately, this will lead to a pain-free tooth.

When Do I Need A Root Canal?

If the blood supply in the root canal space gets too inflamed, your body cannot replenish and heal that tissue, and that bacteria starts to brew an infection. Typically, the inflammation stage is where people have toothache. Symptoms that indicate a root canal may be necessary include:

  • Heightened sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Pain on chewing or biting
  • Impulsive toothache, such as that experienced while reading a book, walking or other normal daily activities
  • Discolouration (a darkening) of the tooth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Constant or intermittent tooth pain
  • Severe tooth pain
  • Throbbing tooth pain
  • Tooth pain that may occur in response to atmospheric pressure changes such as when flying or scuba diving
  • Tissue swelling of the face
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

Most of the time, these are the signs of a dental pulp disease, but that is not always the case and thorough examination is critical to make a correct diagnosis.

Do not wait for the pain to go away on its own. If you do feel a sudden decrease in pain, it might only mean the infection killed the tooth’s nerves. In these cases, you may lose your tooth.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you likely have an abscessed tooth and we recommend you call ArtSmiles Gold Coast right away. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the jaw and throughout the face, resulting in systemic infection.


What Is Involved in a Root Canal Procedure?

Gathering Information For Successful Treatment

When you come to ArtSmiles, our friendly staff will answer any questions or concerns you might have. You’ll start by filling out a medical history and answering some questions about your dental history and symptoms on the offending tooth. This helps give us a full picture of what is going on. To provide the best treatment, we need to know:

  • If a medical condition or nervous system problem might be exacerbating your toothache
  • If any medications that you are on might be masking your symptoms
  • If we might need to put you on antibiotics in addition to root canal

We will then take digital x-rays and take a look at the tooth, your gums, and your bite. We also perform several simple tests to measure the level of inflammation and infection in the problem tooth as well as the teeth nearby. Once we reach a diagnosis for your tooth, we will provide you with an accurate treatment plan and options. If endodontic treatment is needed, we are usually able to get started the same day for you.

Setting Up A Comfortable Treatment

We start by placing topical anesthesia on the gums around the root of your tooth. We then use local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. From this point on, you should not feel any pain, just pressure and cold water while we are working.

After the tooth is numb, we will place a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.

Establishing access and identifying the pulp space

We next make a small opening in the crown of the tooth. Extreme care must be taken to ensure a minimal amount of tooth structure is removed to establish access to the pulp. At ArtSmiles, we utilize the latest technology to make sure we can identify the pulp space and the root canals with precision.

Cleaning the pulp space

Very small specialized instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling. A disinfecting fluid is irrigated into the root canals to kill bacteria and rinse out debris.

Sealing the dental pulp space and restoring the tooth

The canals are then filled with a special biocompatible material and sealed, and the rest of the tooth is restored with a composite filling and a crown to protect it from further damage.

The dental fillings and crowns offered at ArtSmiles are shaped, coloured, and sized to fit perfectly into your smile, working to protect the weakened tooth without compromising aesthetics.

Root Canal Therapy

What you can expect following root canal treatment

The side effects of root canal treatment are generally mild. You may feel some soreness once the numbing wears off and the bite sensitivity on the tooth can persist for a few weeks. However, many patients find that these side effects are much less unpleasant than the acute pain of the diseased nerve that made the root canal treatment necessary in the first place.

In most cases, post-treatment symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, but we will provide specialized instructions for your specific situation.

It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

Some time after the treatment, we will take x-rays to confirm the healing.


Root Canal Retreatment

Teeth with previous endodontic treatment can last as long as natural, untreated teeth. However, a tooth that has received treatment may not heal or may continue to have painful symptoms. Sometimes, pain or other signs of failure may occur months or even years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be necessary.

A tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.
  • Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
  • Inadequate cleaning of the canals
  • The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
  • The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.

In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:

  • New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.
  • A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.
  • A tooth sustains a fracture.

During retreatment, we will re-open your tooth and remove the existing filling materials that were placed in the root canals during the first procedure. We will carefully examine the tooth looking for additional canals or signs of a new infection. We then remove the sources of infection, clean and shape the canals, and place a new filling material in the root. The opening is then sealed with a temporary filling. Once the root canal retreatment is completed, a crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it.



Root canal treatment versus tooth extraction

Having your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. If the tooth has enough sound structure to be restored, the root canal procedure is the treatment of choice, as no artificial tooth will feel like your own tooth.

The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure, but require more treatment time and additional procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.

However, not all cases of pulp infection can be effectively treated with a root canal. For example, if a crack on the tooth has propagated beyond the pulp chamber floor, the tooth is deemed unrestorable and will need to be extracted.

 


Root Canal Treatment Cost

The cost of a Root Canal can vary depending on the scale of treatment required and which tooth is affected. Molars are more difficult to treat; the fee is usually more. As each and every patient has unique needs, a final quote can only be obtained after a full consultation and assessment of your needs. In the meantime, you can find some ballpark prices below, as well as the advantagens of joining the ArtSmiles Club Membership Program:

ProcedureArtSmiles Club Discounted Fee ArtSmiles Private Fee
Root Canal Treatment – Front tooth (one canal)$899.10$1,088.00
Root Canal Treatment – Back tooth (4 canals)$1,604.70$1,970.00

Prices will differ depending on the complexity of each individual case. 

Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. An extracted tooth must be replaced with an implant or bridge to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These procedures tend to cost more than endodontic treatment and appropriate restoration.

We understand, however, that seeking treatment during a dental emergency can be a stressful experience. That is why we work with health insurance companies and financial institutions to minimise your out-of-pocket expenses and provide more flexible payment options. We also accept a wide range of other payment methods and have plenty of flexible pay-later financial options including Afterpay, TLC, Humm and Access My Super. 

Want extended warranty, discounts on services and easy access to high-quality dental care?

Frequently asked questions

A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.

There are a number of reasons why one may end up with a root canal. The most common causes of needing a root canal are:
  • Large carries and deep recurrent decay (that can be developed under an existing restoration) close to the nerve
  • Nerve damage due to physical trauma (i.e. fall from a bike)
  • Nerve damage due to sinus infection
  • Large filling or other restoration 
Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include:
  • Heightened sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Gum tissue swelling
  • Throbbing toothache
  • Persistent bad breath
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact ArtSmiles.

Getting a root canal is painless and extremely effective. You’ll be back to smiling, biting and chewing with ease in no time.

The process can take multiple appointments, depending on how complex the tooth is and the length of time the infection needs to clear. 
Root canal can take anywhere from 45 to 120 minutes, depending on the case. Patients are often surprised by how quickly the procedure is over.

After the root canal procedure, it is vital to take care of your tooth. It’s also essential to take a follow-up X-ray after the process as well. The X-ray ensures that there are no additional signs of an infection. You have to get regular dental exams and cleanings as well. Your dentist and team will let you know when you need a dental cleaning or routine dental exams.


Also, maintain a good routine at home. Brush your teeth twice a day. Flossing as well is essential. Make sure your toothpaste has fluoride and can fight germs as well. If your root canal treatment is perfect, your tooth is now safe.


There are chances that your teeth might feel sensitive after the treatment. Our dentist can give you post-treatment instructions and prescribe medicines. Most patients report that any minor side effects like this go away on their own after a few days.


Do not chew hard after the procedure right away and wait for some time. It will be wise not to do any heavy exercise for some time after the procedure. Especially if there is a temporary filling and permanent filling is due.

Although you will most likely be numb for 2-4 hours following the procedure, most patients are able to return to school or work directly following a root canal. However, it is advised against eating until the numbness is completely gone.
Having your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. The root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.

The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure, but require more treatment time and additional procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
The cost of a Root Canal can vary depending on the scale of treatment required and which tooth is affected. Molars are more difficult to treat; the fee is usually more. 

Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. An extracted tooth must be replaced with an implant or bridge to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These procedures tend to cost more than endodontic treatment and appropriate restoration.

We understand, however, that seeking treatment during a dental emergency can be a stressful experience. That is why we work with health insurance companies and financial institutions to minimise your out-of-pocket expenses and provide more flexible payment options. We also accept a wide range of other payment methods and have plenty of flexible pay-later financial options including Afterpay, TLC, Humm and Access My Super.
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dr tiago braga

BDSc – Associate Dentist

Endodontics

our personalised approach

About Dr Tiago Braga

Dr. Tiago Braga is a trusted Gold Coast Dentist and a Lecturer in General Dental Practice and Endodontics Clinical Supervisor at Griffith University.

Since February 2018 he has been the Coordinator of the Master of Clinical Dentistry in Endodontics at Griffith University.

Over the last decade, Dr Tiago Braga has been dedicated to teaching and developing research in the areas of Endodontics and Endodontic Microsurgery.

Dr. Braga is also a member of the American Association of Endodontics.

Schedule a Visit Today!

or call us on (07) 5588 3677