Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is one of the most successful ways to save a natural tooth without having to extract and replace it with an alternative tooth. Because it is our job, at Toomin & Bieber, to do what we can to help you preserve your natural tooth (you only get one shot at your own tooth), we try to perform a root canal whenever possible. This is a routine procedure that is very effective in clearing out decay and dead material, providing you with roots that are able to be retained. In some cases, the crown of your tooth will need to be supplemented in order to ensure its strength, but overall, you are keeping your natural tooth’s roots, which helps to prevent bone loss and a change in your facial structure.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure where we get underneath the tooth and clean the roots and the pulp of your tooth. The pulp is the interior of your tooth (the part you cannot see). The pulp, when damaged, can then cause problems with the roots of your teeth. In general, damaged or infected pulp is very painful or causes problems with your ability to eat hot or cold foods. During the root canal, we get underneath the enamel and clean out the pulp and the roots.
During the root canal procedure, any infected pulp or roots are physically removed. If there are inflamed areas, they are smoothed out and the area is calmed down. The roots are properly shaped via the canal that reaches all the way down to the end of the roots. If necessary, the area is then filled with a material that will remain in your tooth for the rest of your life. We seal the area up with a temporary filling and allow your mouth to heal.
How is the root canal finished?
After the area has healed, we will place a crown on your tooth. This crown is what gives the top of your tooth (the enamel that you can see) the strength it needs to be used. You will then be able to chew your favorite foods without difficulty or pain! This procedure is done after the mouth complete heals, however, to ensure a proper fit and the most function out of your tooth.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
There are a variety of reasons that our patients need a root canal. They can include obvious occurrences, such as trauma to the mouth during a car or sporting accident or in cases of excessive pain due to decay. Sometimes you may see obvious chips or cracks in the tooth while other times the damage is in the interior of the tooth – you cannot see it, but the pulp is excessively damaged.
There are often symptoms that patients experience that will point them towards the need for a root canal. These symptoms include:
What to Expect
As we stated earlier, the root canal is a very common procedure; there is nothing to worry about. The area is completely numbed, so that you do not feel anything. Once you are numb, we gain access to the tooth by entering through the top of the enamel. We will perform all necessary work via this access route, including removing roots or pulp or smoothing things out. The area is then filled either with simply the filling or with medication, if there was excessive infection in the area. Once the root canal is complete, you are provided with your temporary filling until you can come back for your permanent crown.
We will need to take an impression of your mouth after the root canal is complete so that we can have a custom crown created for you to ensure a proper fit and comfort when we place the permanent crown. Typically, recovery is rather simple after a root canal. Rest and a modified diet for 24-48 hours is typically all that is required to recover from a root canal.
In the end, you are able to save your natural tooth, providing you with a continued facial structure and the ability to eat, talk, and smile with ease!
Call us today to find out more about the root canal procedure and how it can save your tooth!