Root Canal Therapy (Endodontic Treatment)
Painfree Root Canals!
Our dentists are helping patients rid themselves of the fear of root canal therapy!
Endodontics is the specialty of dentistry focused on the study and treatment of the dental pulp (living part within the tooth).
Root canal treatment is necessary when irreversible pulp changes occur.
These irreversible changes are described here:
Inflammation, also known as pulpitis, can be caused by a deep cavity, injury to the tooth, or repeated dental procedures. Irreversible pulpitis may or may not cause tooth pain. In the cases where tooth pain is present, the symptoms usually involve spontaneous pain, sharp pain, throbbing pain, pain upon lying down, or lingering pain to hot, cold, or biting pressures. Immediate endodontic therapy is recommended to relieve irreversible tooth pain.
Pulpal necrosis, or tooth death, is an irreversible condition. Pulpal necrosis may be caused by a deep cavity, injury, repeated dental procedures or if inflammation remains untreated for a long time. Similar to pulpitis, pulpal necrosis may or may not be accompanied with dental pain. Often times, asymptomatic (no symptoms) pulpal necrosis is first noticed by changes in tooth color (darkening to gray or black tooth). Immediate endodontic therapy is recommended to treat pulpal necrosis.
If root canal therapy is not performed when it is needed, a patient can experience severe dental pain and possibly infection. Endodontic infections occur in the periapical tissues surrounding the tooth, and are often called apical abscesses. (See Infection for details).
The root canal therapy procedure, performed by either a general practitioner or an endodontist in one or two visits, typically consists of the following steps:
- Discussion of alternatives, risks and consequences.
- Pain-free local anesthesia (See Numbing for details).
- Wait period to allow complete numbing before the procedure begins.
- Removal of all decay and weakened tooth structure.
- Access to pulp, or center of tooth.
- Careful cleaning of inflamed or infected pulp throughout the tooth and tooth root. Common instruments include the dental drill, rotary endodontic drills, and endodontic files.
- Disinfection and irrigation of tooth with various solutions. Common medicaments and irrgiants used include: calcium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, sterile water, chlorhexidine, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), Mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA).
- Sealing and filling of tooth root with biologically sterile and resilient material (gutta percha).
Once treated with root canal therapy teeth require a restoration. Restoration usually includes a post, core build-up, crown lengthening, and crown. This restoration sequence will allow the tooth to function like any other healthy tooth. If necessary, it is possible to perform root canal on teeth with crowns. (See Dental Crowns for details).
Speak to your dentist if you are having any tooth symptoms. Experience root canal therapy and dental relief today!