There is a wide range of symptoms that show that you might need root canal surgery: cracks, chips, pus coming out of the gums, and infections in the area, just to name a few. Root canal therapy is the alternative to tooth extractions and, with root canal therapy, the tooth can be saved and the pain eliminated in the very same day!
When would I need root canal therapy?
A root canal therapy procedure becomes necessary when the pulp, or soft tissue inside the tooth’s root canal area, gets inflamed or infected from an injury or infection. The most common signs of root canal damage we see in our office are:
- A persistent and lingering toothache
- Tooth sensitivity to heat or cold
- Chewing or pressure pain
- Swelling in the patient’s cheek, jaw, or throat
- A tooth that suddenly becomes discolored and usually is much darker than surrounding teeth
- A constant mouth pain that prevents or disturbs sleep
Rarely, a tooth can experience root damage without any noticeable symptoms. In these cases, it is likely that the root canal nerves are totally dead. Regular checkups can help to ensure that the teeth stay healthy and that any early damage or decay is caught early – before root canal therapy is necessary.
Root canal therapy procedures
Root canal therapy is usually completed within 2 office visits of around one hour each. The root canal therapy procedure that we follow at Studio Dental of River Park is derived from the most current methods, and follow the guidelines and advice from the American Association of Endodontics (AAE). That advice and methodology includes:
1 Under the effects of local anesthesia, the patient’s inflamed or infected pulp of the tooth is removed.
2 The tooth’s root canal is then carefully cleaned and disinfected. An antibacterial cream is then applied to the inside all of the canals, and a temporary filling is placed. A minimum of 24 hours is allowed to give sufficient time for the anti-bacterial cream to fight and kill off any remaining bacteria inside the canals. Many patients report feeling a reduction in pain of over 90% at this stage in treatment.
3 During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the canals are once again cleaned and irrigated to wash away all of the old antibacterial cream and any residual dead bacteria.
4 Once the tooth’s root canals are sterile, the root canals are then filled and sealed airtight with a material called gutta-percha, a natural rubber-like substance.
5 Finally, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling to prevent future damage and provide protection!
Root canal therapy has scary reputation, but is actually one of the best ways to treat a tooth that is causing pain due to trauma or infection. Patients often notice a reduction in pain of nearly 90 percent, and the natural tooth is saved! A treated tooth that has undergone root canal therapy can last your entire life!