What Is Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for more invasive replacement procedures.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by traumatic injury, deep decay, cracks, chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of an infection can be identified as visible damage of the tooth, swelling of the face, a sudden change in sensitivity to temperature or pain, and swelling in the tooth and gums.
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist may recommend endodontic (root canal) treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sealed.
This therapy involves an effective dose of local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of 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 when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.
After completion of your endodontic (root canal) therapy, you may be instructed to return to your dentist’s office within a couple of weeks for the final restoration. Often times he/she will fabricate a custom crown to offer added protection for your tooth.
It is rare for complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. However, if a problem does occur, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, and re-infection of your tooth, continue to practice good dental hygiene and be evaluated regularly at your dentist’s office.