Root Canal Therapy
Many patients fear the procedure commonly known as a root canal, but this is because it has gotten bad press over time. The truth is that root canal therapy is designed to eliminate pain and save your tooth.
Root canal therapy is the solution to decay that cannot be addressed with just a filling. When tooth decay goes beyond the enamel of the tooth into the soft tissues inside the tooth and down into the root canal where the nerves and blood vessels that feed the tooth are, root canal therapy is required in order to save the tooth. The infected pulp, nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is sanitized and filled with a special dental material. Most often, teeth that have undergone root canal therapy require a crown to protect and strengthen the tooth to withstand the forces of biting and chewing.
Indications, signs or symptoms that you may need root canal therapy:
- cold or heat sensitivity in the affected tooth
- presence of an abscess or pimple on the gum
- intense toothache pain
- soreness, swelling, or tenderness
- Sometimes no symptoms are present.
Reasons for root canal therapy:
Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
Injury or trauma to the tooth.
What should I expect from root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy begins with a thorough numbing of the affected area with anesthet. Once the area is numb, a rubber dental dam will be placed to keep any infection present contained, then the dentist will drill a hole, if necessary, to access the infected area. With tools that have been specially designed for this procedure, the infection will be cleaned out, removed, and the area will be sanitized.
When the damaged and infected parts of the tooth have been removed, the remaining tooth will be filled and sealed off so that no further infection can take hold. Because the tooth will be weakened, you will most likely need to have a crown placed to strengthen it into a fully functioning tooth. The dentist will discuss the best course of action for each patient depending on their particular condition.
After your root canal therapy, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this should go away as the tooth heals. We will give you individualized care instructions at each appointment. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular cleaning and checkup appointments with the dentist will prolong the life of your root canal treatment, crown, and all of your natural teeth.
Getting a root canal treatment can save a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be extracted. While having a decayed tooth pulled may seem to be a solution, the fact is that this can ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems down the road. Root canal therapy is a highly effective and long-lasting way to save your tooth. Call us today for more information.