Root canal therapy is required to save a tooth when the nerve has been impacted due to trauma, deep decay, infection, or disease. Whenever possible, your dentist will likely advise that saving a tooth is a better option than extraction … the only other alternative to a root canal.
You may be referred to an endodontist for root canal therapy. Additional years of dental school to treat those in need of a root canal allow for a procedure that is efficient and effective.
Symptoms that point to the need for root canal therapy:
Sensitivity – Exposure to hot or cold may result in a zinging sensation. This is an indication that there is exposure to the nerve of the tooth.
Pain when biting down.
Swelling – The jaw or face may become swollen indicating an infection or abscess.
Pimple – A sore resembling a pimple on the gum tissue may be present.
Steps For Root Canal Therapy
A dental x-ray will be taken for a couple of reasons … the number of roots involved will be determined as well as their position. It is important that all root canals be treated for a successful procedure. A non-surgical root canal is a standard endodontic procedure. If canals are too narrow for endodontic files to remove the contents or roots appear too difficult to reach, a surgical root canal may be needed.
The tooth to be treated is barricaded using a rubber dam to keep the area dry.
The endodontist will drill an access point in the tooth; endodontic files are used to remove the contents of the root canals (blood, tissue, nerve, and infectious material). Canals are flushed; the assistant will continuously suction away water and debris.
If the tooth was infected, an antibiotic may be administered. The canals will be packed to provide stability and the access point will need to be sealed. Very often the patient reports back to their general dentist for a crown prep or other means to seal the treated tooth.
Is Follow Up Treatment Needed?
Once your endodontist completes root canal therapy, unless you experience a problem you generally require no follow up care from the endodontist. Once the tooth is sealed, no special care is needed. You will brush and floss daily; and maintain regular six month cleaning appointments with your family dentist.
If you need root canal treatment, call us today!