Root canal therapy is a procedure performed to clear infected tissue out of the interior of a tooth. Without the treatment, the tooth would probably have to be removed. Removing the infected pulp, however, makes it possible to keep the tooth. After root canal therapy, the tooth will no longer have sensation, but will be usable.
The Root Canal Procedure
Root canal therapy is usually performed by an endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in treating the tooth pulp. This soft tissue is found inside the tooth, protected by the hard enamel and dentin. It is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that keeps the tooth alive. The pulp can become infected if bacteria finds its way inside through cracks, chips, or decay that has eaten through the hard outer layers.
Your endodontist drills a hole in the tooth and removes the infected pulp. He then disinfects the tooth’s interior and fills it with a special resin. The tooth is filled and fitted for a dental crown. Once the crown is in place, your tooth will function just like it did before the infection.
After Your Root Canal
The root canal procedure is generally performed under local anesthetic, with or without sedation to increase your comfort level. If you choose sedation, you might need to pick up a prescription before your appointment. After the procedure, you’ll have to wait a short time for the medication to wear off. You should arrange to have someone take you to your appointment and then back home afterward.
You will receive aftercare instructions from your dentist, which you should follow closely for the best results. These instructions might include:
- Taking medication such as pain relievers and antibiotics
- Using ice or heat to reduce swelling
- Resting for a day or two while your tooth heals
If you notice any unusual symptoms, be sure to let your dentist know. This could include excessive bleeding, persistent discomfort, or any symptoms that could indicate infection.
Contact us at Parker-Nickolas-Read Dental to schedule your appointment!