Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Treatment A "root canal," or endodontic therapy, is a procedure to save a tooth that is infected and would otherwise require extraction. There are many reasons that teeth become infected including cavities, previous large fillings, cracks, crowns, fractures, trauma, and extreme wear.
Why Get a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by infection or decay. When a root canal is conducted at Thurston Oaks Dental, the dentist will remove the pulp of the tooth, which is the living tissue inside of the tooth. The material that makes up the pulp involves everything needed for the growth of a tooth, including nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
With many of the root canals performed, the dentist will conduct the procedure while the patient is anesthetized. It is always a good idea to remain fully informed about all of the details if you plan to have a root canal done.
The Need for a Root Canal
The need for a root canal arises when there is an injury to a tooth's pulp or infection occurs.
The tooth's crown is able to remain untouched regardless of if it is intact or not. When the pulp is taken out the structure of the tooth can be preserved.
The reasons why a tooth's pulp may be injured involve tooth decay that is caused by cavities, cracked teeth, repeated dental work, or direct trauma. Besides the injuries, there are also some symptoms of pulp damage you need to be aware of which are pain, hot sensations, and inflammation.
REASONS FOR ROOT CANAL THERAPY
• Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
• Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
• Extreme wear.
• Injury or trauma to the tooth.
ROOT CANALS SAVE TEETH
Having a root canal done saves a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be removed. Extracting (pulling) a tooth could ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth as well as loss of bone where the tooth was removed.
While root canal therapy can be successful, it is not guaranteed. It is very important to have a permanent restoration (usually a crown) placed within 30 days of the root canal. If a permanent restoration is not placed, the tooth can further decay to the point where the root canal must be redone or, worse, the tooth must be removed.
WHAT DOES ROOT CANAL THERAPY INVOLVE?
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by our regular dentist or an endodontist, which is a root canal specialist. For more information, call our office to schedule your appointment with Dr. Snodgrass.
Performing the Root Canal
After you receive a referral for a root canal and schedule it with the endodontist, you will enter the dental office and be prepared for the procedure. After you are prepped, there will be some steps that will occur during the procedure.
The endodontist will apply a topical anesthetic at the site of the root canal. Once the area is numb, the local anesthetic will be injected. A pinching feeling may occur, but this is temporary. You will not be put to sleep for the root canal. After numbing has taken place, a tiny hole will be made on the top of the affected tooth. After exposing the pulp, special tools known as files will then remove it so that the canals can remain clean.
After the pulp is out, a layer of antibiotics will be placed to stop any more infections from occurring. After disinfection is complete, the tooth will be filled with paste and then sealed with gutta-percha. You will then possibly receive antibiotics. Once the procedure is done, the original tiny hole will be filled using a temporary filling. Having it sealed will help prevent damage caused by saliva.
Scheduling a Follow-up
You can expect soreness once the numbing has ceased. Inflammation is also a possibility and can be treated at home with either ibuprofen or Tylenol. When pain is unbearable, you should consult with the dentist.
Normal activities may resume a day following the root canal. Make sure that you do not chew on the affected side until it has been filled completely.
About a week later, you will have your follow-up appointment. More x-rays will be obtained to ensure the infection is not present. You will then be given a filling that is permanent.
You may also request a crown to be placed to give your tooth a natural look. When you contact Thurston Oaks Dental at (360) 514-9212, we will help make your entire root canal a smooth experience no matter how much adjusting to the tooth may be needed. Give us a call today to schedule your root canal treatment.