Medically known as endodontic treatment, root canals are a common procedure that help in removing inflamed or infected tissue that can develop within a tooth.
Under the hard outer structure of your tooth, a soft tissue called the dental pulp is located. Contained within it are nerves and blood vessels that supply nutrients to the tooth. A root canal procedure involves the removal of this pulp, which is cleaned out and replaced with a filling to protect the tooth from further damage.
Although many people dread undergoing a root canal, it actually makes a good treatment choice with many benefits, the chief one being that it allows you to keep your tooth. If you do not undergo a root canal, the tooth infection will progress and develop into an abscess that compromises the tooth, which may eventually require an extraction.
Naturally, it is much better to never need a root canal at all. However, it is better than having a tooth extracted. Missing teeth can cause problems like having surrounding teeth shift into this empty space, causing gaps between teeth or problems with your bite. Also, without the presence of a tooth, the underlying jawbone will begin resorbing away.
By having a root canal procedure performed, we can help maintain the function of your tooth so that you will be able to effectively chew with normal biting force. Furthermore, a root canal helps to maintain tooth aesthetics. It also helps in protecting other teeth that would otherwise be under more strain by having to take up the force once absorbed by an extracted tooth.
As far as the actual root canal procedure itself, the first step involves examining the tooth so that we see what is necessary for effective treatment. We would typically physically examine the tooth and may order x-rays to visualize within the pulp chamber.
The dentist then administers a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort and places a dental dam over the area, isolating the tooth and preventing saliva from entering the area until the procedure is complete.
The next step is when your dentist will drill into the tooth, opening it so that dental instruments can be inserted within the pulp chamber and canals. They will then thoroughly clean out infected and inflamed pulp. The leftover space will be contoured to make room for a filling material to replace the volume once taken up by the dental pulp that has been removed.
Many patients are very concerned about experiencing great pain during a root canal procedure. Root canal techniques have advanced significantly over the last few years. Patients typically report that they are relatively comfortable throughout this procedure without significant pain due to the administration of local anesthesia.
After a root canal procedure, it is common to experience some inflammation of the soft tissues around the tooth, which may last for a day or so. Most patients can alleviate this discomfort by taking over-the-counter analgesics. If you should experience severe pain or swelling, contact us right away.
Until you receive your permanent crown, a temporary medicated filling or crown will be put into place. Sometimes these soft fillings can wear down between appointments. Since temporary restorations will eventually wear down, visit us as soon as possible after your root canal treatment for a final restoration.
You may be prescribed antibiotics to help with any potential infection. Be sure that you take all of your medication as directed.
Some additional steps that you can take after your root canal procedure include avoiding chewing or biting directly onto the tooth until your temporary restoration is replaced. Return for a follow-up examination after your procedure to ensure that you are healing properly.
Do you have a tooth that is painful or inflamed? Do you have a tooth abscess? Situations like these may necessitate a root canal procedure. Contact Aesthetic Dental Center of Morris County so that we can provide pain relief and conduct an examination to develop a treatment plan for the problem that you are having.
We take our patients’ privacy seriously. Please refrain from providing any personal health or sensitive information. Call us at (973) 361-6200 to schedule your appointment over the phone.
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