What is a Root Canal?
Today, root canal treatment can save your tooth! A root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one or two visits. Root canal treatment is needed when the “nerve” in the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This can be caused from deep decay, a fracture or injury and repeated dental procedures.
Signs and symptoms can be prolonged sensitivity to temperature, discoloration of the tooth and swelling or tenderness around the gumline. In some cases, there may be no pain.
Root canal treatment allows you to keep your tooth. First we will numb your tooth and then place a rubber dam over your tooth. This prevents anything from getting into your mouth. Next, the infected nerve pulp is carefully removed and the inside of your tooth is cleared, shaped and filled to seal the space. Afterwards, a crown is placed to protect the tooth and allow proper function. Root canal therapy can save your tooth and your smile!
Post Operative Care
After the appointment it is possible to experience swelling and sensitivity to both temperature and pressure.
- A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits
- Be careful while eating until the final restoration is placed
- The gum around the tooth and at the injection site may be tender
- After endodontic treatment a full coverage crown is indicated to prevent your tooth from fracture.
Root Canal Treatment: How Bad is it?
Your teeth contain several layers: the outer protective enamel, a secondary layer of dentin, and an inner soft ‘pulp’ tissue layer containing the nerves, veins, arteries and lymph vessels. Each pulp chamber branches off at the top, forming ‘canals’ that lead toward the tooth root tip. These infamous ‘root canals’ serve to facilitate the ongoing activities within the tooth. However, a deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture can open the canal up to bacterial infection, killing the pulp, stimulating increased blood flow, and creating tremendous pressure build-up within the tooth. This results in severe pain and may initiate bone degeneration, tooth loss, and even more acute pain. All of which simply underlines the importance of contacting us at the first sign of pain or soreness in any of your teeth. If it’s early enough along in the disease process, we can test the problem tooth and recommend root canal therapy.
Will root canal therapy hurt? Not with today’s advanced analgesics and technology. In fact, the entire process can be virtually free of discomfort and often requires only one appointment. We simply clean out the diseased area, fill the canal with a biologically inert substance, seal it from further infection, and you’re on your way. While some patients experience post-procedural soreness or slight tissue inflammation, these are controllable with over the counter analgesics. Follow up care is simply to maintain thorough home hygiene and visit our office regularly for cleanings and check-ups.