Patients that experience a tooth that has been compromised by infection have few options. Do nothing, and run the risk of losing the tooth and spreading infection. Or opt for root canal therapy, save the tooth and eliminate the discomfort and cost of what may be needed if the tooth is lost.
For patients that choose to ignore needed treatment, the infection may lead to an abscess, which is an accumulation of infected matter that settles at the base of the root. Symptoms of an abscess may include swelling of the area and increasing discomfort.
A root canal is a procedure that allows the dentist to penetrate the outer cover of the tooth and remove the infected nerve and pulp from the inner chambers of the tooth. This process is completed on each root of the tooth. Depending on which tooth is being treated, there can be one, two, three or more roots to be cleaned out.
A root canal is a procedure that allows the dentist to penetrate the outer cover of the tooth and remove the infected nerve and pulp from the inner chambers of the tooth.
It is very important to treat each root. That is why an x-ray is taken prior to the procedure. The dentist wants to verify the number of roots as well as the location and angle each root is growing.
During the procedure, the dentist will seal off the tooth being treated. As matter is pulled from the tooth, it is removed with dental instruments and suction to prevent infection from spreading. The root is thoroughly rinsed and, if needed, treated with antibiotics to ensure a positive outcome.
Generally the tooth has been anesthetized for root canal therapy. Since the access point must be sealed eventually, your dentist might select to complete the root canal and initiate the final restoration at this time.
Often times the root canal requires a dental crown to seal the tooth so a material called gutta percha is packed into the opening to aid in easing sensitivity and to protect the cavity from further infection until the final restoration can be placed.
At the completion of treatment the tooth has been salvaged and sealed with either a composite resin filling or dental crown. The nerve and pulp that were removed serve no purpose once the tooth erupted, so their removal is not a factor.
Root canal therapy can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth so making this treatment decision should always be a simple one.
For more information on root canal therapy, contact The Dental Place, serving Arlington TX and surrounding areas, to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated dentists.