Root Canal Therapy
Root canal work is often thought of as the one dental procedure people fear the most, but a majority of the hype is simply untrue. Although the process of cleaning and removing infected pulp is a tedious and quite invasive one, modern dentists have the equipment and anesthetics needed to make short work of this ill-regarded operation.
It goes without saying that the pain and discomfort associated with worsening root canal infections is usually much worse than anything you will experience in your dentist’s office. This is why it is crucial to visit your doctor before the problem escalates into something much worse.
What is root canal therapy?
Commonly referred to as endodontic treatment, root canal therapy involves the complete removal of pulp that has become infected, injured, or killed as a result of bacterial decay and/or disease. Our teeth grow and develop hanks to the vast network of nerves and blood vessels lying just below the surface, inside the sensitive dental pulp.
Infections occur when foodborne bacteria finds it way into the pulp, usually via cracks in the teeth, although damaged fillings and severe cavities are also common causes. The resulting infection is known as an abscess, and it can be extremely painful to the individual who is suffering from it.
As time passes, the infected abscess can spread to surrounding teeth, gum tissue, and even jawbone, in effect acting as a source for gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Removal of the pulp and thorough, deep cleaning is the only solution to this problem, and this is where root canal therapy is essential. Your dentist will quickly be able to tell if you have an abcess tooth by taking an X-ray of your mouth; changes the size of the tooth and/or gum tissue are usually key indicators that something is wrong.
What does the procedure entail?
Every root canal therapy treatment involves getting rid of the infected pulp, but not every tooth is salvageable. The more severe the infection, the less likely the tooth is in enough structurally sound condition for preservation; a dental implant will need to be used in these cases. This decision will be made during the preliminary cleaning.
The first thing your dentist will do is apply a local anesthetic at the afflicted area; numbing medication can take some time to take full effect when facing an abscess tooth, but it is a necessary step for most patients. Next, the affected tooth will be isolated with a dental dam; this prevents any and all bacteria from entering the exposed root canal.
A small hole will then be drilled through the tooth in order to clean and extract the infected pulp. The pulp chamber is rid of all infected tissue, including the damaged nerve. There is no way for pain signals to be sent to the brain once the nerve is removed.
The root canals are disinfected and opened up for the insertion of filling materials, which generally include a thermoplastic putty and adhesive agent. Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent future infection, and a filling or crown will be used to restore the tooth back to its original state.
Pakerhill Dental has performed thousands of endodontic treatments on its patients, and has the tools and expertise to fix your infected root canal. Contact us today to set up an appointment!