Sometimes a tooth may suffer significant damage or have a cavity that has reached the center of the tooth, resulting in a serious infection. In order to save the tooth, Dr. Sprang or Dr. Stoycheff may recommend root canal therapy.
The pulp, which is the deepest interior part of the tooth, has blood vessels and nerves which support the tooth. Cavities, cracks, or other injuries that reach this deep into the tooth can result in an infection. These infections in the interior of the tooth may result in the formation of an abscess. The abscess can cause pain and infection can spread to the surrounding bone and tissue, possibly causing tooth loss if left untreated.
Root canal therapy is a treatment that clears out the infected tissue in the center of the tooth, preserving the rest of the root and as much of the natural tooth as is possible.
It’s a popular misconception that root canals are a painful experience. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Thanks to modern dental techniques and effective anesthetics, the procedure is pretty much pain-free. Even the subsequent recovery phase takes a shorter time now than it has in the past.
It will usually require one to two visits to complete root canal therapy. First, X-rays will be taken in order for your dentist to have a clear idea of what is happening with the tooth and surrounding bone. The area will be numbed by use of a local anesthesia, so there will be no pain during the procedure itself.
To access the infected tissue, Dr. Sprang or Dr. Stoycheff will create an opening in the top of the tooth. From there, they will clean out all infected material from the inside of the tooth and then replace it with a rubber-like material such as gutta-percha, which will protect the interior of the tooth from another infection. The tooth will then receive a temporary filling.
With the root canal therapy complete, the next step is to restore your tooth. As the tooth is often left weaker than before the infection, this will usually involve the placement of a crown, which you can learn more about here.
Think you may need a root canal? Give us a call so we can take a look and provide treatment options.