Root Canal Procedures Can Save Teeth
A root canal is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay, inflammation or infection. To save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed. The resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function. Phoenixville Dental recommends root canals as the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and need to be removed.
Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is a good solution. While a missing tooth can easily be replaced with modern dentistry, it can be costly and will never be the same as your own natural tooth. Not replacing the tooth leaves space for surrounding teeth to shift which can sometimes lead to stress fractures, cracks, crooked teeth, and/or gaps between teeth.
Signs and symptoms you may need a root canal:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Severe toothache.
- Swelling and/or tenderness of the gums.
Sometimes no symptoms are present.
What does root canal therapy involve?
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).
While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling.
At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.
The dentist or endodontist will provide you with care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will help extend the life of your root canal treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above and want a free consult or root canal procedure, please fill out our contact us form or call (610) 933-3717 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.