Root Canal

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure used to remove the soft center of the tooth—the pulp. The pulp is made up of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels that help the tooth grow. However, once a tooth has reached maturity, the crown of the tooth can remain without a living pulp.

If the pulp is injured or becomes infected, removing the pulp is the best way to save the structure of the tooth. A dental specialist called an endodontist will perform a root canal while you’re under local anesthetic.

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

A root canal is performed when the soft inner part of a tooth, known as the pulp, is injured or becomes inflamed or infected. Common causes of damage to the pulp include:

    • deep decay due to an untreated cavity
    • multiple dental procedures on the same tooth
    • a chip or crack in the tooth
  • an injury to the tooth such as being hit in the mouth by a ball or a fist (even if the injury does not crack the tooth, it can still hurt the pulp)

The most common symptoms of damaged pulp include pa in in your tooth, and swelling and heat in your gum. Your dentist will examine the painful tooth and take X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. If the dentist believes a root canal is warranted, he or she will refer you to an endodontist.

How Is a Root Canal Performed?

A root canal is performed in a dental office. When you arrive for your appointment, a technician will escort you to a treatment room, help you get situated in a chair, and place a bib around your neck to protect your clothes from stains.

The dentist will then place a small amount of numbing medicationon your gum near the affected tooth. Once it has taken effect, he or she will inject local anesthetic into your gum. You may feel a sharp pinch or a burning sensation, but this will pass quickly. You will remain awake during the procedure, but the anesthetic will keep you from feeling any pain.

When your tooth is numb, the dentist will remove the top part of the tooth with a drill. Once the infected or damaged pulp is exposed, the dentist will carefully remove it using special tools called files. He or she will be especially careful to clean out all the pathways (called canals) in your tooth.

Once the pulp has been removed, the dentist may coat the area with a topical antibiotic to ensure that the infection is gone and to prevent reinfection. He or she may also prescribe a course of oral antibiotics.

The dentist will end the procedure by filling the tooth with a soft, temporary material.

Follow-Up after Your Root Canal

When the numbing medication wears off after the procedure, the tooth and gum may feel sore, and the gum might swell. Most dentists will have you treat these symptoms with over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen. If the pain becomes extreme or lasts for more than a few days, call your dentist.

You should be able to resume your normal routine the day after the procedure. However, avoid chewing with the damaged tooth until it is permanently filled or a crown is placed over the top. Your dentist will take X-rays to ensure that any infection is gone and will also replace the temporary filling with a permanent. If you prefer, the dentist may place a permanent crown on the tooth.

It may take you several weeks to get used to how the tooth feels after the procedure. This is normal and no cause for concern.

Risks of a Root Canal

A root canal is performed in an effort to save your tooth. Sometimes, however, the damage is too deep or the enamel is too frail to withstand the procedure. These factors can lead to loss of the tooth.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Book your next appointment with ARCA Dental today

(08) 9305 4254

5 star Though I live on a different continent, Dr. Kushal has been a family friend since the beginning of time. Being a dentist here in the US, and swapping dental stories when we all met in the UK, I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Kushal! If I lived there in Australia, I would definitely be a patient there!!!! Looking forward to your many years of success!!! Cheers!
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5 star Brilliant caring and professional. Kid friendly. My kids dont dread going to a dentist anymore
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5 star If you are looking for the Best you have just found it.
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No longer scared of the dentist. If your looking for a local dentist try Arca in Currambine. I love how they don't do anything drastic unnecessary and i felt very well looked after PLUS it didn't cost me an arm and a leg- so i now have no excuses not to have a check up regularly! Feeling relaxed now....excuses not to have a check up regularly! Feeling relaxed now....
Sarah - Jane Thomas -

Fantastic dentist who me & my family highly recommend (especially to people who are very nervous about visiting the dentist), Kushal & his team do an amazing job
Carole Webber -

A relaxed and kind dentist, and lovely assistant. They had a large TV where they played my favourite music on youtube, while they cleaned my teeth. A great experience!
Whitney Swopes -

Very professional
Kaylene Lynch -

Well had an unexpected visit to dentist today so looked up on Google who to go to . Went to ARCA that was local and my experience was amazing right from reception to dentist Ms. Bolton and even assistant . I get very anxious at the dentist due to many years of orthodontic work , they made me feel comfortable and understood my fears . Didn't cost an arm and a leg either . Very happy customer here and highly recommend them.
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Big shout out to ARCA Dental in Currambine. They managed to fit me in at the last minute today and I encountered a very friendly and professional service (and it didn't cost the earth!) Highly recommended!
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Yesterday I attended an appointment at Arca Dental in Currambine and it was a great experience. The dentist was so lovely and friendly and he couldn't have done more to impress me. I would highly recommend giving this practice a go for your next dental appointment!!
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A unique and enlightening experience. Better than I have had elsewhere. Highly recommended. Will be back. Thank you.
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My family and I visited Arca dental for the first time today for a check up. I cannot recommend them enough. Massive thank you to everyone, the office is beautifully presented, all the staff were lovely, so friendly and helpful. We've been looking for a great dentist for 6 years, looks like we've found him. See you in 6 months!
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My second visit. Absolutely lovely, looking forward to my next visit. Thanks x
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Great once again! Will be back!
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