You hear jokes or horror stories about root canal therapy. Chances are the folks telling these tales have never had a root canal. This treatment can save your tooth from loss, is literally pain free and can be performed very quickly. Some of the questions or concerns about endodontic therapy are:
What are the symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal?
Discomfort when biting down; sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or sour; swelling around the tooth or jaw; or in some cases, there are no obvious symptoms. Your dentist might see a fracture in a tooth or an x-ray will indicate infection is present indicating the need for a root canal.
What happens if I don’t have a root canal?
If infection occurs, the tooth can abscess. The pus pocket at the base of the tooth can spread leading to a very serious infection. Ultimately if a root canal is not performed, the tooth will require extraction.
What happens during a root canal?
The first step is a dental x-ray is taken to determine the angle/location and the number of roots requiring treatment. It is imperative that all of a tooth’s canals be treated for a successful procedure.
The tooth is protected with a rubber dam that keeps the area dry. A drill is used to make an access point in the tooth. Endodontic files follow the access point to remove the contents of each canal. The contents removed are the nerve of the tooth, pulp, blood, and infection (if present).
The canals are flushed … if infected an antibiotic may be placed. Eventually the tooth must be sealed, but very often the dentist will want to wait to make sure the infection is gone before this final step is completed. A dental crown is a favorite choice to seal the tooth.
Can my family dentist perform a root canal?
Depending on the tooth involved, your family dentist may want you to be treated by an endodontist … a dentist who has specialized in root canal therapy. By seeking out an endodontist, you have the security of knowing you are being treated by someone who has completed additional years of dental school training; has the staff and tools on hand for a successful procedure; and can perform your root canal efficiently, painlessly, and with a positive outcome.
Do you need to schedule a consultation with our team? Contact our office today!