Any time a tooth experiences trauma, there is a possibility that the roots of the tooth have sustained damage. Infection can occur resulting in possible tooth loss. There is a procedure that can be done to save the tooth, and that is endodontic therapy, more commonly known as a root canal.
Symptoms that a root canal may be needed include discomfort when biting down, sensitivity to temperature, and/or swelling of the face or jaw. Treatment should be rendered as soon as possible as infection can lead to an abscess, a pocket of infectious material that can spread if not treated.
The root canal process begins with a dental x-ray of the infected tooth. An x-ray identifies the number of roots involved and their position. Each root must be treated; failure to reach all roots can result in procedure failure and the need for retreatment.
The dentist will segregate the tooth to keep the area dry. The tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic and an access point is created in the tooth. Endodontic files will be used to penetrate each root removing all the root’s contents … blood, pulp, nerve, and infection if present.
Once all roots have been treated, your dentist will determine the best way to seal the access point. For molar teeth, generally a dental crown is used. Your dentist will want to make sure the tooth has been successfully treated before placing the crown. A temporary will protect the tooth that has been prepped for a crown. Another option to seal the opening is with a tooth colored composite resin.
If infection was present, the dentist may place an antibiotic in the canals and/or prescribe an oral antibiotic depending on the severity of the infection.
A crown is often made from porcelain which will be fashioned to match surrounding teeth in size, shape, and color. Once the crown is cemented in place sealing off the access point, the root canal process is considered to be complete.
A dental crown made from porcelain is stain resistant and strong. Your protective crown is made to last for many, many years. Caring for your crown is the same as all your teeth … brush twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss daily, and see your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam.
To learn more about the root canal process or to schedule an appointment, contact The Dental Place at 972-264-5795 today.