Root Canal Therapy
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a procedure designed to restore the health of your mouth. The infected pulp and the nerve are removed from the interior of the tooth. A crown at the end of the procedure provides the tooth with strength, as well as protection from new bacterial infection.
Why Is a Root Canal Necessary?
Root canal therapy is necessary when bacteria get inside of your tooth, whether it’s a crack, chip, or gum disease. Once the bacteria are in the tooth, it cannot be removed any other way but with a root canal. The interior of your tooth contains pulp and narrow canals. Bacteria in the tooth multiply quickly and hide in the smallest crevices, inflaming the pulp of your tooth can cause serious harm.
Signs You Might Need a Root Canal
There are a few different signs that can point toward the need for root canal therapy:
Quite possibly the biggest sign that points toward an infection, and the need for root canal therapy, is an abscess. This is a sac that forms around the infection as it attempts to spill out of your tooth and into your jawbone. The sac acts as a protective barrier, containing the infection. Without treatment, the abscess continues to grow, damaging your jawbone. It also becomes more likely to rupture, spilling out the infection into your otherwise healthy jawbone.
Diagnosing an Infection
An infection in your tooth requires professional diagnosis. We perform a thorough visual inspection of your mouth, as well as take x-ray images. The x-rays allow us to see exactly what is happening inside your tooth, at the root, and in the jawbone. With the image, we are also able to design a treatment plan that will provide you with the best possible outcome.
Root Canal Therapy
A local anesthetic is used to numb the affected area before we begin treatment. The area is then cleaned and dried, measures that are taken to prevent bacteria and saliva from entering the tooth. Once the anesthetic takes effect, we drill a small hole into the top area of your tooth. Using small, specially designed tools, we remove the pulp and the nerve of the tooth. The interior of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and the canals shaped. Once cleaned and disinfected, the tooth is filled and then prepped for a dental crown. Because it can take a couple of weeks for your new crown to be ready, a temporary crown is given in the meantime, protecting the tooth from new bacterial attack. When your permanent crown is ready, it is cemented firmly in place.
Removing an infection in your tooth is essential for your health. Root canal therapy can help. If you are experiencing pain in your tooth, contact Kenneth G. Wallis DDS, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today at (408) 248-6777!