Root Canal Therapy
A root canal may be necessary when a deep cavity reaches the pulp causing it to become infected. Our dentists will remove the tooth’s infected pulp and flush the cavity of any contaminates. After cleaning out the infection, the canal will be filled to prevent any further infection. Usually, a crown is recommended to cover and restore the tooth’s shape and function after a root canal. Endo-treated teeth are usually more brittle and that’s why a crown or full coverage is recommended.
Although the thought of a root canal can be quite scary for a patient, there is no need to worry. Millions of root canals and subsequently millions of teeth are treated and saved this way every year. Modern root canals are similar to routine fillings. Local anesthesia makes the process painless, and patients are back on their feet in no time with a much healthier mouth.
There are several reasons a root canal may be necessary, including:
- Inflamed/infected tooth pulp
- Severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements
- Tooth decay
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Blow to the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness near the infected tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on a tooth
When left untreated, these problems can lead to severe tooth decay reaching the root of the tooth, causing extensive damage to the tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, we can perform a root canal to preserve the tooth and retain its original integrity.
What to expect during a root canal
A root canal can usually be completed in one or two office visits. Root canals can be performed by a General Dentist or an Endodontist (root canal specialist). An Endodontist is a specialist focusing on the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries in the dental pulp or the never of the tooth. We are fortunate to have dentists who have experience in endodontics and professional relationships with area Endodontic specialists. Our dentists have experience with premolars and anterior teeth and will assess your case, referring as needed.
The root canal procedure involves the following steps:
- The patient undergoes anesthesia.
- A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
- The tooth is opened to allow for the removal of the infected or dead dental pulp.
- The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals.
- With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals.
- The tooth is filled again with innovative biocompatible filling material.
- A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening
- Following a recovery period, the patient will return for the placement of a permanent restoration.
We work with each patient individually to discuss the details of your treatment and any alternatives. Our top priority is to provide you with the highest standard of care.
Your tooth may be sensitive for a few days post-procedure. This is completely normal and can usually be treated with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Most patients can resume normal activities the following day.