FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Endodontics, or root canal therapy, is often the most feared and misunderstood of all dental procedures. In order to understand treatment it helps to understand the anatomy of a tooth. Your tooth consists of two main parts, the crown, which is that part of the tooth you can see, and the root or roots, which is the part of the tooth that lies beneath the gum and is surrounded by bone. Inside each root is a canal, which contains pulp (nerves, blood vessels and soft tissue.) It is necessary to have root canal treatment when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The most common reasons for inflammation and infection are bacteria associated with decay, very deep restorations, fractures or trauma. If pulp inflammation is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess. In order to preserve a tooth in which this has occurred, it is necessary to remove the diseased pulpal tissue, either completely or partially. This procedure is known as endodontic or root canal therapy.
Local anaesthesia (freezing) makes treatment painless. While there may be some discomfort for a brief period after treatment, this can be controlled with Panadol and Neurofen medications.
It is likley you will need to see your dentist to have a permanent filling placed or a cap (crown) made for the tooth. Your dentist will assist you in choosing the most suitable kind of restoration.
Unfortunately, when a tooth is infected, the blood supply (pulp) running through the tooth is affected as well. As a result, there is no way to conduct the antibiotics to the needed area. They do however, assist in controlling and eliminating infection in the surrounding bone before and after root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy has been reported to be up to 95% successful. Many factors influence the treatment outcome: the patient’s general health, bone support around the tooth, strength of the tooth including possible fracture lines, shape and condition of the root and nerve canal(s) and continued follow-up care with your general dentist. Although we cannot guarantee the successful outcome of root canal procedures, you can be assured that the most advanced techniques and treatments modalities will be performed to ensure the best prognosis possible.
Insect bites, burns, scrapes and cuts; all of these will produce inflammation of the skin characterized by redness (an increase in the blood flow to the area) and therefore swelling. Removal of pulp tissue from a root canal can produce an inflammation in the socket holding the tooth. Unlike our skin which can expand, increased fluid in bone produces pressure on sensitive structures like the membranes of our sinuses or large nerve structures in our jaw. All inflammation takes 7 to 10 days to disappear (think how long a cold lasts). The medications you are given will help to minimize any discomfort from the inflammation resulting from your condition and the treatment rendered, however, if you are unsure, please feel free to contact our office so that we may check the progress of your healing.
An Endodontist has undergone years of additional intensive training and education and is a recognised dental specialist by The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Yes you do. Your health fund membership is entirely personal between you and your chosen health fund, therefore any questions regarding rebates for dental treatment should remain strictly between the patient and their health fund. We can provide you with the relevant item numbers and fee’s prior to your treatment should you wish to check this prior to commencing treatment.
No, we are not participating in the preferred provider scheme. We operate completely independently of health funds. The preferred provider schemes do not allow you to see the dental provider of your choice and do not increase your annual rebate limits regardless of who you see, preferred provider or not.
Stated in the Australian Dental Association (ADA) website, “As all members of a fund will pay identical premiums, eligibility for rebates should also be identical. To increase a rebate available to one member who chooses to use a Health fund preferred provider discriminates financially against the member who chooses to maintain a dentist patient relationship that may have existed for years. Your fund should allow you to choose your dentist. There is now evidence available that some health funds are using the opportunity of discussing written estimates of costs of treatments with their members to deliberately attempt to redirect patients to the funds’ contracted (preferred provider) dentists. This practice is discouraging patients from using their dentist of choice and may compromise the quality of care to be delivered to you.”
© 2018 by Western Endodontics.