Toothaches can be painful and distracting, and are most commonly a sign of decay or infection. Tooth infections are especially uncomfortable, but root canal therapy can relieve that pain in a single visit.With modern techniques, root canal therapy is a pain-free procedure that can help stop the spread of decay and restore the integrity of a damaged tooth.
About 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to misconceptions about dental procedures.
Before you undergo any treatment, your Charlotte dentist will examine your mouth and review any x-rays or other images to diagnose the cause of your toothache. If the cause turns out to be a tooth infection, your doctor will determine the extent of the damage and decide if root canal therapy can treat the problem.
To start things off, your dentist will clean and numb the treatment site, all the way down to the including the nerves with local anesthesia. If you would like to be sedated during the procedure, your doctor will help you decide what kind of sedation will be best for you.
Once you are comfortably numb, your dentist will begin removing any decayed material starting with the enamel. From there, they will move toward the pulp. Once the infected pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth and the canals have been thoroughly cleaned, the area is flushed with disinfectant to eliminate bacteria.
To fill the space left by the decayed material, the interior of the tooth will be filled with “gutta-percha,” an inert, rubber-like material that supports the inside of the tooth to maintain its structure.
Depending on how much enamel was removed during the procedure, the appearance and function of the tooth will be restored with either a filling or a dental crown.
Around 25 million root canals are performed every year.
If you’re experiencing a tooth infection, chances are you will need root canal therapy. Tooth infections generally happen one of two ways:
No matter how the infection occurs, it will cause the pulp to begin to decay and eventually die. When this happens, you’ll experience a toothache, gum inflammation near the tooth, and tooth sensitivity to temperature and pressure.
No. Root canal therapy has come a long way in recent years, and modern techniques make a root canal a pain-free procedure. In fact, the procedure is similar to getting a dental filling, and patients who receive root canal therapy can expect their tooth pain to be relieved almost instantly.
Your mouth will be numbed completely during treatment, and you can even choose to be sedated if you would like. Root canal therapy is the best way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of an infected tooth, which can be unbearable.
Root canals are one of the most effective dental treatments available, but in rare cases, the treatment can fail. If there is any decayed material or bacteria left behind, the infection can return. If the infection comes back, you’ll return to our office for endodontic retreatment, during which your tooth will be reopened and the root canal process will be repeated to ensure that the infection is completely removed.
Not always. Although dental crowns are usually the best way to protect your tooth after getting a root canal, and are almost always recommended for posterior teeth (molars and premolars), fillings can also be used to restore anterior (front) teeth. Your dentist will let you know what kind of restoration is best for you after your root canal has been completed.
Root canal therapy is generally covered, at least in part, by most major dental insurance providers. However, it’s best to consult with your own insurance provider to gain an understanding of your benefits.
Yes, root canals are one of the most common dental procedures, with 15 million plus root canals, or endodontic treatments, performed every year in the US alone. They’re especially common because they treat various complications with a relatively high success rate. However, most dentists recommend root canals for treating severe dental decay.
Severe dental decay is decay where the enamel corrosion goes past the enamel and dentin and into the tooth’s roots. This opens up the root’s core (pulp) to bacterial infection that quickly spreads throughout the pulp. The pulp contains sensitive nerve fibers that get irritated by the acid the bacteria produce as a by-product of feeding on starch and sugars. This leads to intense pain that’s usually resistant to painkillers. A root canal involves the infected pulp, giving you instant pain relief and stopping the infection in its tracks. They’re also necessary for patients with teeth damage from physical trauma.
An emergency root canal is a root canal dentists perform urgently stemming from unexpected dental complications (dental emergencies). The procedure for root canals is the same as that of regular root canals, but patients don’t have to make prior appointments. Instead, they can walk into the dentist’s office and begin treatment right away.
Emergency root canals are handled by emergency dentists. Emergency dentists offer services outside of regular working hours. This means they’re available on short notice to handle dental emergencies, including those that require root canals. Emergency dentists are usually available on weekends, late nights, and even holidays.
Several situations may warrant an emergency root canal. For instance, acute pain in your tooth warrants an emergency root canal. This is especially true if painkillers do nothing for the pain. You might also need an emergency root canal if you get dental trauma from an injury that exposes your tooth’s roots. The dentist will examine your tooth to determine the suitability of a root canal.
Root canals are incredibly effective against dental decay, but they’re not the only treatments. You see, dentists only recommend a root canal in cases where the decay is not too severe and there’s a chance of saving the tooth instead of extracting it. Otherwise, if the decay is too advanced, extracting the tooth may be the only viable option since the tooth will eventually disintegrate from excessive decay.
Pulp capping is another excellent alternative to root canals, but is limited to not-so-severe cases of dental infections. Pulp capping involves removing the infected portion of the pulp while retaining the healthy part. After removing the infected pulp, your dentist will place a cap over the healthy part, protecting it from infection and encouraging regeneration.
Sometimes, dentists might also consider regenerative procedures for premature permanent teeth with infected pulp. These involve disinfecting the infected pulp cavities and inserting materials that encourage the regeneration of new pulp tissue.
Root canal therapy can save you from needing more complex, invasive treatments.