A root canal is needed when the nerve of a tooth has been damaged due to trauma or infection. For most patients, they can return to work or school right after having their tooth treated.
A root canal, also known as endodontic therapy, is a procedure where your dentist will clean out the canals of the affected tooth. A dental x-ray is taken prior to the procedure for a couple of reasons. The dental provider will want to verify the number of roots involved and how they are positioned. An access point is drilled in the tooth; a special drill called a file is used to remove the contents of each canal.
The contents of the canal consist of blood and nerve tissue along with pulp. The file is used to remove the contents of each canal, and then the opening is sealed. Treating each canal is critical to the success of the procedure. Any canal left untreated can require the need for retreatment.
Depending which tooth is treated, the opening may be sealed with a composite resin filling; but in many cases the final step to a root canal is with a dental crown.
If the nerve was damaged due to infection, additional treatment may call for an antibiotic pack in the tooth’s opening; an oral medication may also be recommended.
A root canal has earned a very negative reputation … this may have been deserved years ago, however, with today’s procedures this process can be completed efficiently without discomfort. As with many dental procedures, the patient is anesthetized for a root canal. Even though the nerve is already dead in the tooth to be treated, the patient and dentist are more comfortable when the individual is anesthetized.
There is no concern about the nerve being removed from the root’s canals. Once the tooth has erupted, the nerve serves no actual useful purpose. Once the need for a root canal has been diagnosed, the only other alternative treatment is tooth extraction.
Having a tooth pulled usually results in further needed treatment. With tooth loss comes the inability to eat many foods, word pronunciation may be affected, and self-confidence may be impacted due to missing teeth.
Needless to say, a root canal that can salvage a tooth is a far more advantageous over the experience of tooth loss.
If you are facing a root canal and need more information, call our office at 972-264-5795 to reserve your appointment.