Root canal treatment or referred to as 'root canal therapy' or more simply and commonly as a 'root canal' is an endodontic procedure in which the inner tissues, which are known as pulp are removed from within your the roots of your tooth, sanitized and the filled with an organic material known as 'gutta percha'.
Root canals are used when a patients tooth becomes infected at the root often causing an abcess which is evident through swelling or pain.
The 'root canal procedure' has a reputation for being a painful one, however modern anesthesia allows root canals to be performed without any pain whatsoever.
It is a fact that a root canal can and will alleviate the pain that a patient is experiencing due to a dental abscess or a badly decayed tooth.
Root canals procedures are normally performed by endodontists but can be performed by general dentists, with millions of root canals being performed each year in the US by general dentists.
If your tooth roots are abnormally shaped or your if you have a severe condition it is possible that your dentist will refer you to an endodontist for the procedure. Endodontist are dental specialists who focus root canal therapy and have undergone years of training.
Usually a tell-tale sign that a patient is in need of a root canal is when an abscess occurs. This occur when the tooth roots and the tissues that surround them have become infected. In this instance a pocket of pus will develop around the infected area. This happens as your body sends white blood cells to there to fight off the oral bacteria which is causing the infection.
The abscess puts pressure on your nerves that are running through your tooth root. It also erode your tooth tissue. If it is left untreated the abscess can lead to tooth loss.It can also lead to infection and can spread into your jaw bone. In extreme cases it can affect your blood and even brain tissue.
In very rare cases a patient with an untreated dental abscesses could be deadly.
The process of a root canal treatment will allow for an abscessed tooth to be saved. It can also prevents the consequences of an abscess that may arise.
The infected tooth and its surrounding area is anesthetized for treatment. Once the area has been isolated with a dental dam, and fully numbed, an opening is created in the top of the tooth.
Dead and decayed tissue is carefully removed, and the roots thoroughly rinsed with disinfecting medications, to ensure all affected tissue is eliminated, and the area surgically cleaned. The empty cavity created, is then shaped to hold a rubber-like substance, gutta percha, which will regain the stability in the tooth and when fully set, provide a solid foundation to support a cap or crown. The endodontist will close the tooth with a temporary covering, until your permanent crown is ready.
At the first sign of any kind of dental pain, it is recommended that you make an appointment to see a dentist. Even if you are not registered with a dentist’s office, reach out for advice right away. Dental pain left untreated can escalate to an unmanageable level, and in a small percentage of cases, be an indicator of a more serious medical problem. As well as localized pain, symptoms which could point to infection inside a tooth, include:
· Unpleasant taste or odor
· Pus or discharge around the gum
· Heightened sensitivity to heat and cold
· Heightened sensitivity to sweet and spicy foods
· Discoloration of the tooth
· Swollen or aching lymph nodes around the neck and jaw
Once the dentist has examined your affected tooth and taken digital x-rays, they will diagnose you, and advise a course of treatment. If root canal therapy is recommended, they will refer you for the earliest appointment that’s suitable to you. Antibiotics may be required to clear any infection spreading beyond the tooth.
The endodontist or dentst will review your x-ray, and perform an additional, thorough examination of your teeth; gums and general oral health. They will ensure you are a suitable candidate in terms of your overall medical status before beginning any treatment.
The need for root canal treatment is most often caused by a buildup of bacterial decay. Once this begins inside the tooth, it is unlikely to stop if left untreated, and will likely continue to cause intense pain until the tooth ultimately dislodges and falls out.
Decay can happen as a result of residual build-up, occurring over time when regular cleaning is missed. The hardened plaque that develops, and subsequent erosion caused by bacteria, all contributes to the deterioration of the overall strength of the tooth, throughout the pulp and root.
It would be easy to imagine that once the pulp of the root is removed during the cleaning treatment, the tooth will die. In reality, teeth can be restored to play a strong functioning role in the patient’s bite, absorbing nutrients through the enamel in the form of phosphates and fluoride, which strengthen and nourish the tooth.
Our dentists can predict with a high degree of certainty, if root canal treatment will succeed in saving your tooth. With a 95% success rate across America, and around 15 million treatments completed every year in the US, this is a fast, effective, and painless procedure, saving and strengthening millions of natural teeth. Root canal treatment eliminates pain and infection, as well as the need for costly restorative dental work.
Receiving a diagnosis for root canal treatment is an opportunity to identify the reason infection occurred in the tooth. A review of brushing and flossing technique can prevent a recurrence and ensure teeth are maintaining their hold in the gum.
Adopting a preventative approach supports the routine of maintaining regular dental check-ups and in-office cleaning. Operating in the knowledge your actions will lead to better comfort, and a greatly reduced likelihood of your requiring costly dental work in the future is a powerful motivator to uphold a lifelong regimen of great dental health and cleaning.
The benefits of good teeth and oral health, has numerous benefits. Self-confidence enjoyed in personal and professional relationships, provides an invaluable asset across interactions in all walks of life. Supporting patients in attaining and maintaining their best smile throughout their lifetime, while avoiding unnecessary treatment, is what we strive for.
When teeth are lost, the gums and jaw bone can ‘shrink’ eventually affecting the shape of your face. However, when a dental implant is placed in the jaw, this prevents shrinkage or deterioration of the bone. In cases where a patient has already experienced reduction in bone mass, implants can still be used by utilizing modern techniques to increase the bone volume. The results of this treatment are that they transform smiles improving the patient’s appearance, self-confidence and self-esteem.
We offer root canal treatments and root canal retreatments. Second opinions are free. (Please bring x-rays)