Root canal therapy may be necessary for severe cases of tooth decay. Deep cavities, injury, fracture, or gum disease can be a few potential causes of bacteria developing in the tooth chamber that might cause an infection. If your teeth become sensitive to heat or cold, you experience gum swelling or pain, or have a constant bad taste in your mouth, you may have an infection. An infected tooth will never heal on its own. Without treatment, your tooth could fall out, you could develop an abscess, and/or you may experience bone deterioration surrounding the infected tooth. As the infection worsens, it can weaken the immune system and may plague other parts of the body, potentially causing heart attack, stroke, or other serious conditions.
The good news is we can help you avoid tooth loss and further damage to your health with root canal therapy. This procedure is designed to remove the infected tissue, sterilize the nerve chamber, destroy all bacteria, and seal the nerve chamber and the tooth. After cleaning and sterilizing the infected area, we will place a custom-made crown on your tooth created to reinforce it and even improve its appearance. It should give your tooth added support while looking and feeling natural.
What is a Root Canal?
The space inside the tooth from the center, known as the pulp chamber, that travels down the length of the root to the tip (or apex) is called a "canal," or more specifically, a root canal. Human teeth may have one to four root canals, depending on the anatomy of the tooth. Molars, may have 2 to 4 canals, premolars may have 1 to 2 canals, cuspids may have 1 to 2 canals, and finally incisors generally have 1 canal. Extra canals may branch out from the main canal, called "accessory canals." The number of canals and the anatomy can vary among teeth.
Common Reasons for Root Canals
The tiny canals contain the pulp of the tooth also commonly referred to as the nerve, which originates from the pulp chamber. Any trauma or infection of the nerve will result in the need for root canal therapy. Common reasons for root canal therapy include:
Root canal therapy can be preformed in single or multiple visits. Before the procedure, though, your dentist will advise you as to the number of appointments necessary to complete the canal. If you had an infection or abscess in the tooth, the dentist may choose to have you start antibiotics before completing the root canal. Your dentist will begin the appointment by giving you local anesthetic to "numb" the tooth that is being worked on.
After your tooth is numb, you may expect the following procedures:
Recovering from Your Root Canal Therapy
When the local anesthetic has worn off, your tooth may be sore from the procedure. Your dentist may recommend a pain reliever to take at home, and depending on the circumstances behind your root canal, antibiotics my be prescribed to clear up any remaining infection in the tooth. If you were on antibiotics before the procedure, your dentist will instruct you to finish the remaining medication.