A root canal, also known as endodontic therapy, is a procedure that can make the difference between saving a valuable natural tooth and having to lose that tooth. And contrary to popular thinking, it is not painful, and can be completed in about the same time as what you normally devote to your lunch hour.
Important reasons not to delay root canal treatment include:
- Relieve discomfort: Although not always, most teeth in need of a root canal are causing a lot of pain when you bite down or are sensitive to temperature. That pain is relieved following treatment.
- The tooth is dying: The outside of your tooth is hard, but the inside of the tooth is made up of softer tissues like pulp, nerve, and blood. A breach in the hard surface of the tooth can allow bacteria to permeate the outer surface and result in infection. Failure to treat can result in an abscess developing that can impact neighboring teeth, your jaw, and can even make you sick.
- This situation won’t get better on its own: A tooth that requires endodontic care will not heal without treatment.
- Save your tooth: You have two choices … a root canal or tooth loss. Patients that opt for extraction can experience more problems possibly resulting in costly and time consuming tooth replacement.
What is Involved in Root Canal Therapy?
The root canal process is fairly simple. The tooth requiring treatment is segregated using a rubber dam; the area is anesthetized; an access point is created in the tooth; and endodontic files are used to extract the contents of the tooth’s root canals.
A dental x-ray is needed to determine how many roots are involved and their position. It is important that all root canals be treated … failure to do so could result in the need for retreatment.
Once canals are cleared, they are thoroughly rinsed. If infection was present, it may be recommended that you wait to have the access point sealed. The emptied canals are packed with a rubbery material called gutta percha.
The access point must be permanently sealed. This can be done using a tooth colored composite resin, but very often a dental crown is recommended.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our team at Parker-Nickolas-Read Dental today.