Root canal therapy suffers from a bad reputation with dental patients – a reputation that is mostly undeserved! Thanks to modern dental technology and new techniques, most uncomplicated root canals are actually fairly painless and can be completed quickly and easily. In fact, most patients who receive root canal therapy report that the procedure was not nearly as bad as they thought it was going to be!
Additionally, this therapy is helpful in allowing us to treat and save a tooth that has been severely damaged. Without the root canal, extractions and more costly dental work might be necessary. Understanding the whys and hows of root canal therapy can help reduce the fear that surrounds them so you can appreciate this important treatment.
While pain is the symptom most commonly associated with needing a root canal, an x-ray may show that a root canal is necessary without the patient ever experiencing any pain.
Sometimes a tooth can become decayed or infected to the point where it affects the root and the nerve. Although “root canal” is often the name used to describe the procedure, the root canal itself is actually a part of the anatomy of your tooth. The root canal is a natural cavity inside your tooth that houses the pulp chamber of your tooth and the tooth’s nerve.
If the root canal becomes damaged or infected, you can develop an abscessed tooth, a serious and painful infection. Without treatment, the infection could spread into your gums and other teeth and lead to bone and tooth loss. If you experience swelling or pain in the gums or teeth or if a sore appears on your gums, don’t hesitate. Call us immediately for a same-day emergency appointment so we can diagnose the problem and treat you promptly.
Once the infection is diagnosed, Dr. Advani will begin by numbing the area to make sure you don’t feel any pain. We can also discuss other anesthesia options if you like, including nitrous oxide. A hole will be made in the tooth that will allow Dr. Advani to remove the decayed and infected material as well as the root, if necessary. Using special tools, Dr. Advani will clean out the interior of your tooth to make sure that no infection remains.
Your tooth will then be filled to protect and seal it and restore it to full functionality. Before filling and sealing the tooth, Dr. Advani may place antibiotics into the cavity of the tooth to make sure any possible remaining infection is killed off. The tooth is then filled in stages. If necessary, you may be fitted for a cap or crown to protect and strengthen the tooth. We will discuss your options with you ahead of time and work with you to create a treatment and restoration plan that will treat the infection and protect the tooth.
If you are experiencing pain or other symptoms that may indicate a root canal is needed, call our office today. Prompt treatment can make a huge difference and may save your tooth.