Root Canal Therapy
When the nerve of your tooth is infected or decayed, a root canal may be needed in order to save the tooth. In root canal therapy your Dentist or Dental Hygienist will remove the living tissue inside the tooth and replace it with medicated dental materials. This will restore the tooth to its full function. Root canal therapy is done when the other choice would be to have the tooth die and need to be removed. Many patients will remove the problematic tooth, citing expense, but in reality, extracting a tooth can ultimately be more costly because of problems for adjacent teeth. We have a high root canal treatment success rate and it will usually last a lifetime, although, occasionally we will need to treat new infections of the same tooth.
Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
There are several reason why root canal therapy would be the right form of restorative dentistry for you. Some of these are:
- Trauma to the Tooth
- Infection or Decay Has Reached the Living Tissue Inside the Tooth
- Abscess Has Developed Inside the Tooth or at the Root Tip
How Do You Do It?
We won’t lie to you, root canal therapy is not the ideal way to spend an afternoon. The process usually takes one or more appointments and can be performed by a Dentist or Dental Hygienist, or an Endodontist, depending on the location of the root canal. We do our best to make you feel as comfortable and have the procedure go as quickly and smoothly as possible. The Dentist or Dental Hygienist will numb your tooth, place a rubber dam around your tooth to keep it dry. An opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into that opening. The files, placed one at a time will remove the bacteria, pulp and nerve tissue. Your Dentist or Dental Hygienist will also clear any tooth decay found at the time with dental instruments.
Once cleaned, your tooth will be sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling, depending on if additional appointments are needed. At your next appointment the roots and inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed and a filling will be placed to cover the access opening. A crown will need to be created for all teeth that have had root canal treatment to restore the tooth to its full function and protect it from breaking. Discomfort and sensitivity are normal after root canal therapy but this will diminish as the inflammation goes down and the tooth has healed. Your Dentist or Dental Hygienist will let you know your post-care instructions after your treatment is finished. Good dental habits, eating healthy and regular visits will extend the life of your root canal treatment.