A root canal is needed when the nerve of the tooth has been impacted from deep dental decay, infection, or some kind of trauma to the tooth. If infection has occurred, an antibiotic may be prescribed. An x-ray will be needed to identify the number and location of all root canals for effective treatment. And if a root canal cannot be performed immediately, your dentist will provide treatment to relieve discomfort until endodontic therapy can be done.
A root canal involves creating an access hole in the tooth and using endodontic files to remove the contents of each of the root canals. Those contents are the pulp, nerve tissue, and any infected material that may be present. The canals should be flushed to ensure all contents are removed.
The hollowed canals are packed and a temporary covering is placed until a permanent seal can be completed (usually in the form of a dental crown).
The only other option to treat a tooth other than a root canal is to extract the tooth. Retaining biological teeth is ideal; if the tooth can be salvaged that is a much better solution.
Once a tooth has been extracted, the patient may experience new problems such as teeth shifting toward the new opening creating a malocclusion.
Bone loss can occur in the area where tooth loss has occurred. Bone loss can create changes in appearance; a dental implant is currently the only option for teeth restoration that can aid in bone loss prevention.
Root canal therapy has an undeserved reputation as a dreaded procedure; in actuality with the diagnostic and endodontic tools available today, the procedure is fairly quick and easy. Discomfort is minimized with a local anesthetic, and is generally no more uncomfortable than a dental filling.
For more information about root canal treatment or to schedule a consultation, contact our team at Parker-Nickolas-Read Dental today.