There are a few different issues that could result in a patient needing a root canal:
Untreated Tooth Decay:
Untreated tooth decay allows bacteria from the tooth’s surface to work its way deep inside.
A Tooth Crack or Fracture:
This could offer another pathway for microorganisms to infect the pulp.
A sports injury, for example, may also damage dentin or pulp, or expose it to infection.
Extensive Dental Procedures:
Something such as multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth may cause trouble. Occasionally, even routine procedures like orthodontics may eventually lead to root canal problems.
What Is a Root Canal?
Out of all the dental procedures to help improve teeth and improve oral hygiene, a root canal is probably the most feared but the truth is, with advances in technology and oral health, a root canal is really not that traumatizing or difficult to perform.
A root canal is required when a patient experiences damage to the tooth pulp which ends up causing the patient pain. If you feel you have this type of pain, don’t avoid coming to us fearing you’ll be in need of a root canal or endodontic therapy as it is also called. The process can do a lot to alleviate your pain.
How Is a Root Canal Done?
Dr. Vette will numb the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic (typically Novocain). The crown is opened to expose the chamber of pulp to be excavated. Dr. Vette will then remove the pulp and clean the canals inside the tooth in order to remove any germs and bacteria and then possibly reshape the canals, if necesarry.
Most times this can be done in one appointment. If the tooth is extremely infected, Dr. Vette will put in a temporary filling and schedule another appointment. During the second appointment, Dr. Vette will fill the internal structures of the tooth with a material such as gutta-percha or another filler.
A temporary filling will then be placed in the crown of the tooth. This will remain until the next stage.
Following an endodontic procedure, it may be necessary to have a restoration (such as a crown) placed on the tooth to restore it to full function and aesthetic appearance.
After that, with proper care, the restored tooth should last for many years.
Benefits of a Root Canal
The main benefit of a root canal is saving the infected tooth from having to be pulled. Teeth that are treated with a root canal have the potential to last the rest of the patient’s life. Additional benefits include:
- Prevention of the loss of the tooth
- Elimination of the pain caused by the infection, tooth damage, or sensitivity
- Prevention of the spread of infection to surrounding teeth or gums