Root Canals

In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, your tooth can usually be saved with a root canal. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only cause you to lose your tooth and injure your jawbones, but it is also detrimental to your overall health. Signs and symptoms to watch out for include temperature sensitivity, swelling, drainage, odor, pain, and discoloration of the tooth. If you have any of these symptoms, please call us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your dentist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. Adult teeth do not require pulp to function. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.

Some patients may worry that a root canal will be painful. At Elite Dental Care, we use the latest techniques and technology so the typical root canal is similar to getting a filling.

What to Expect

Your dentist will numb your tooth with a local anesthetic and administer analgesia if needed. Once the tooth is numb, an opening will be made in the top of your tooth to access the canals. Your dentist will use tiny instruments to remove pulp from your tooth and prepare it to be filled. You will return at a later date to have your root canal capped with a crown or other type of restoration that will give it the appearance and function of a natural tooth.

You will be able to drive yourself home and may even wish to return to work the same day. However, it is normal for your tooth to be sensitive in the days following your procedure. You’ll need to avoid biting anything with your filled tooth, as this can cause it to break or fracture. So long as the tooth heals normally and you experience no complications, you can return to your dentist within a month to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth.

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