What Is Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is a beneficial restorative procedure that is performed when the innermost area of a tooth has been compromised by injury or infection.
Advantages of Root Canal Therapy
There is significant value in root canal therapy. The procedure immediately halts an infection process that would continue without treatment. By removing infected tissue, a root canal prevents the spread of infection into the gums and more expansive root systems around the tooth and surrounding teeth. Ending infection also significantly decreases the risk of irreparable damage that would require tooth extraction.
Do I Need A Root Canal?
Unfortunately, most people discover that they need a root canal when they develop a persistent, worsening toothache. In some instances, we are able to identify infection or damage in a tooth root during a routine dental examination. The high definition of modern x-ray imaging allows us to observe all parts of a tooth, including the roots. Spotting infection in this way is advantageous because it can help a patient avoid the pain that would develop as a result of the infected root.
What Our Patients Say
“Dr. Brown and his staff are professional, knowledgeable and friendly. Dr. Brown has seen me in emergency situations and his work is impeccable. I would recommend Dr. Brown to anyone looking for an exceptional dentist.” – Debra W.
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How Does Root Canal Treatment Save A Tooth?
Root canal therapy is performed with the intent of preventing tooth loss from infection. The procedure removes infected matter and inserts an inert material into the space that housed the tooth’s roots. This technique of filling the empty canals maintains the stabilization of the tooth in the jawbone. Without that stabilization (which is severed by infection), the tooth would become loose and either fall out or need to be removed.
Root Canal Procedure
At Implant Dentistry of Florida, we prioritize patient comfort and peace of mind. When root canal therapy is needed, we understand that a patient may feel quite anxious due to misconceptions about the procedure. Therefore, we offer a variety of sedation services to help improve the treatment process.
Root canal therapy is conducted with a local anesthetic, the same numbing injections that patients receive before getting a dental filling. Numbing medication is fully sufficient to prevent pain during the procedure.
Once the tooth is numb, the dentist removes damaged enamel in the same way that would be done for a dental filling. Access is then created to the root area. Once in the central part of the tooth, the dentist utilizes tiny files to remove the soft dental pulp that has become infected. A tooth may have up to four canals. Each is treated in the same way to remove all pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. Empty canals are then sterilized with an antimicrobial fluid and filled with gutta-percha, an inert material that solidifies in the canals to prevent microbes from entering.
At the conclusion of the procedure, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to prevent cracks in the enamel. A few weeks after the root canal, this temporary crown is replaced with a final restoration.
How long does a root canal take?
Patients can expect their root canal appointment to take approximately 90 minutes. This includes the time it takes to administer the local anesthetic around the tooth, remove all infected matter, and sterilize and seal the root canal. Much of the procedure feels just like getting a filling. The extra time involved is needed to carefully file the soft pulp tissue in the small root canals. During this visit, a temporary crown is also positioned over the tooth to keep it sterile and usable.
What To Expect After Root Canal Treatment
After a root canal, the patient will wear their temporary crown for approximately 2 weeks. Slight soreness may be felt in the jaw due to the pressure on the mandible during the procedure. Discomfort is typically manageable with over-the-counter pain-relieving medication. If necessary, cold compresses may also be applied to the cheek. Most patients encounter only mild soreness that is easily tolerable. The temporary crown may not be as stable as a final crown, so a patient may be encouraged to consume foods that do not require a lot of chewing. If the temporary crown were to pop off or become noticeably loose, it can be rinsed and reattached with dental cement. This may be done at home with dental cement purchased from a pharmacy or conducted in the office if the patient prefers.
Are the effects of root canal therapy permanent?
Root canals are performed to remove the infected matter from the central part of a tooth. This eliminates the pain a person may have been feeling before their procedure. The effects of this procedure are expected to last indefinitely because the infected part of the tooth is cleaned out, including the tooth’s nerve. The tooth is also sealed, to it is unlikely that bacteria could return to the same roots and cause a new infection. Patients are advised to practice good oral hygiene every day to maintain healthy gum tissue around the margins of their new crown. This minimizes the risks of bacteria accumulating in the area.
How to Avoid Needing Another Root Canal
The reason a root canal is needed is that the center of a tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels live, has been damaged. This can happen as a result of a traumatic injury that breaks a tooth. However, most root canals are related to an untreated cavity. The best way to avoid needing another root canal is to take good care of your teeth. Your dentist and hygienist are resources to help you see where your oral hygiene may need to improve. Regular visits with these professionals foster ongoing oral health through periodic cleanings that remove built-up plaque and tartar. Daily habits including both brushing and flossing inhibit that buildup and reduce the risks of tooth decay that could lead to a root canal.
Is root canal therapy dangerous?
Root canal therapy has existed for many decades. It has been one of the most commonly performed restorative dental treatments of our time. The process is performed with great care to ensure the infected root canals are emptied of diseased tissue, blood vessels, and nerve material. A liquid sterilizing solution permeates the canals, destroying bacteria. This step facilitates optimal, lasting improvement in the damaged tooth.
What happens if I don’t get a root canal?
Not getting a root canal is more dangerous than getting a root canal. The purpose of this procedure is to remove tissue that has been infected by bacteria. Bacteria are living organisms that, if not destroyed, will continue to spread. Without a root canal, there is a risk that the bacteria that have caused infection in a localized area will spread to the tips of the roots deep enough in the jawbone to cause tooth loss and more advanced infection.
Is Getting A Root Canal Procedure Painful?
The use of local anesthetic virtually eliminates any uncomfortable sensations during root canal therapy. Patients may feel pressure on the jaw as the dentist removes the matter within the root chamber, but this is not painful.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information regarding root canal therapy at Implant Dentistry of Florida, call (321) 372-7700 to schedule a consultation. Our practice serves Melbourne, Florida, and surrounding areas.