Endodontics and Root Canal Treatments

Endodontics and Root Canal Treatments

Endodontics/Root Canal Treatment

Endodontics (commonly known as Root Canal Treatment) is the treatment of an infection inside of a tooth’s nerve. This infection can commonly cause an abscess in the gum at the base of the teeth causing pain and swelling. If left untreated an abscess can even cause bone loss or develop into a cyst.

This infection can occur in a number of ways including;

  • Bad oral hygiene,
  • Untreated cracked teeth,
  • Trauma,
  • Or untreated dental wear and/or erosion.

The most common symptoms of the infection can include;

  • Sharp throbbing pain that is worse when lying down,
  • Sensitivity to heat but feels better when cold,
  • Swelling in the gum or jaw,
  • Or tooth discolouration.

It is also important to note that these symptoms can stop of their own accord, however this usually means that the tooth has not healed, but has died.

Endodontics/Root Canal Treatment Outline

Treatment involves the removal of the infection and the nerve inside the tooth, typically as outlined below:-

  1. Diagnosis/toothache:- Commonly this condition is diagnosed as part of a toothache appointment. The infection being the cause of the discomfort. An X-ray will confirm the diagnosis and treatment (such as an open and drain) will usually commence. If the infection is too large for direct treatment to be begun at this appointment a script for antibiotics might be provided to control the infection before beginning first stage treatment.
  2. Open and drain (if required):- Sometimes called an Emergency Root Canal, this treatment involves removing some of the infection from the top of tooth. This temporarily removes most of the pain or discomfort for a short period of a few days or so. This appointment is often completed as part of a toothache appointment.
  3. 1st stage Root Canal Treatment:- At this appointment the tooth is opened at the top and the infection along with the internal nerve within the tooth is removed. This canal is then cleaned out and an antibiotic paste is placed within the canal. The combination of removing the infected nerve and placing the anti-biotic paste within the canal will remove any residual infection from within the tooth and around its root/s in the gum.
  4. 2nd stage Root Canal Treatment:- After 2-4 weeks post the first stage of treatment, the second stage of the root canal treatment is completed. At this appointment the temporary filling placed on top of the tooth at the end of the last appointment is removed. The canals are then cleaned and the antibiotic paste and residual infection is removed. A special root filler is placed into the canal and the tooth is sealed to protect from re-infection. The treatment is then completed.
  • Additional appointments often required with root canal treatment;
  • Crown or Filling (if required):- A filling will be placed on the tooth to cover the hole created when opening the tooth for treatment. However, a root treated tooth (one that has had root canal treatment) is inherently weaker than a healthy untreated tooth. This may mean a filling will not be strong enough to support the tooth and a crown maybe required.
  • Internal Bleaching (if required):- Occasionally a root treated tooth can turn dark a few months after treatment. This is unfortunately a potential side effect of root canal treatment. A procedure called Internal Bleaching, can be used to bleach the tooth back to a tooth colour.
  • Please Note:- The above is a very basic outline, our patients will be advised of their individual endodontic treatment plan at their first appointment.

Advanced Endodontic Surgery

In rare cases, some infections require more advanced treatment options. These advanced Endodontic Surgery techniques are also provided at Robertson Dental Innovations for treating these rare cases.

  • Apicectomies:-

    If an abscess around the root is very large, and unable to be healed by completing a standard root canal treatment an apicectomy may be required. This involves removing the very end tip of the tooth root to prevent reinfection.

  • Root Recections:-

    Similarly in some cases where the infection is quite large a portion of the tooth root itself maybe removed along with the tip and the nerve, this is called a root recections.

  • Retrograde Root Filling:-

    This procedure is usually completed at the same time as an apicectomy. A special filling material (MTA) is placed inside the end of the cut root to seal the end.

Please contact our Reception teams on the numbers below if you have any questions about the information contained on this page or if you wish to make an appointment with us. New patients are always welcome, even if it is only to provide a second opinion.


For more information about the Endodontic and Root Canal Treatment options provided at Robertson Dental Innovations, please see Our Services and Downloads pages, or contact our reception staff on (03) 5444 4924 (Dental Innovations on Sternberg) or (03) 5442 8640 (Dental Innovations on Condon).

We also have dental payment plan options from Smile Choice, ask the reception team for more details.