Root Canal Therapy
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a common dental procedure. It is performed more than 14 million times per year. This treatment allows your natural teeth to be maintained, preventing the need for dental implants or bridges.
The pulp is a soft tissue inside the tooth that consists of blood vessels, nerves, and cells. It provides nutrients and minerals to maintain your tooth. The disease of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the disease can include visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, or pain in the tooth and gums. Often times, root canal treatment may be indicated despite the absence of symptoms.
How is a root canal performed?
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may be available to aid in patient comfort. The injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned, shaped, and sealed. Initial root canal therapy has a success rate of over 90% in most cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment, or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or if a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. After your procedure, you will be able to drive home, and you should feel comfortable returning to your normal routine.
To provide you with a better understanding of endodontic therapy, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to root canals are discussed.
What happens after treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.