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 system around the tooth and surrounding teeth. Ending infection also significantly decreases the risk of irreparable damage that would require tooth extraction.
How Do You Know If You Would 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.
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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 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 enamel. A few weeks after the root canal, this temporary crown is replaced with a final restoration.
Is Getting A Root Canal 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.
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.
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.