A root canal is one of the most common procedures performed in the dental office. It is a simple endodontic procedure that can ultimately save your natural teeth and avoid the need for dental implants or bridges.
In the middle of your tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, there is a soft tissue known as the pulp. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that help to build the surrounding tooth during development. The pulp can become infected or inflamed as a result of deep carious decay, trauma to the tooth, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. And if untreated, this infection or inflammation can result in pain or even lead to an abscess.
Signs to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.
Any of the above symptoms will ultimately lead to the need for non-surgical root canal treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. The injured and infected pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. We use local anesthesia to numb any potential pain and discomfort.
Upon the completion of your root canal, we will provide a record of your treatment to your dentist. We recommend that you make an appointment with her/him for a follow-up restoration a week or so after your root canal therapy. Your dentist will determine the type of restoration appropriate and necessary to protect your treated tooth. Although it is rare to experience complications following a routine root canal procedure, we are readily available to respond to any questions or concerns that you may have.
The recovery period for a root canal depends on the number of visits needed to complete the root canal therapy. Generally, upon completion of the job, you will feel mild-to-moderate discomfort for only a few days.
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible. Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings.
Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn’t have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When endodontic treatment is not effective, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth.
We are dedicated to providing you with the personalized care that you deserve in making your root canal therapy as easy and gentle as possible. If you have any questions or need additional information, please call 305-285-5150 or complete the form below.