Root Canal TherapyRoot canal therapy (endo) is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay, cracks or infection. To save the tooth, the pulp (living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed. The resulting space is then filled with a special, artificial dental material, which restores the roots of the tooth.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be extracted. Many patients opt to extract teeth that are compromised by decay, cracks or infection, not realizing that extracting teeth will ultimately cause them significant problems with adjacent teeth and more cost.
Root canal treatment is high successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated, or removed due to new infections.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Sensitivity to hot and or cold
Swelling and or tenderness
An abscess (pimple) on the tissue
Broke tooth w/w exposed nerve
Sometimes no symptoms are present
REASONS FOR ROOT CANAL THERAPY
Decay or cracks have reached the pulp chamber (the living tissue inside the tooth)
Infection or an abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the apex of the root
Injury or trauma to the tooth
ROOT CANAL THERAPY PROCESS
A root canal procedure requires 2 appointments if the crown process is also completed at the same time. This procedure can be performed by a dentist or an endodontist (root canal specialist).
An access opening is made on top of the tooth, to access the nerves of the tooth. A series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental material. If there is not enough tooth structure to support a crown and the impact of chewing, a titanium post may be placed in the tooth for structural support. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function. We complete the crown preparation at the same time we complete a root canal.
After treatment, you may still have sensitivity to cold and chewing on the tooth, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.
We will provide you with postoperative care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.