Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected.
A root canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the toothbecomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of thetooth is cleaned and sealed.
Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to seeking dental care is truly painful, not the root canal procedure itself.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Having an infection usually provides some warning signs. If the pulp of your tooth has become diseased, you may:
- See a discoloration or a large cavity.
- Feel prolonged or increased sensitivity to heat or cold or pressure.
- Suffer pain.
- Notice pus that drains into your mouth.
- Experience a foul taste in your mouth, even after brushing.
- Experience swollen or tender lymph nodes.
Sometimes, there are no noticeable symptoms, but our Perla team dentist will be able discover the infection during a routine visit
What is involved in root canal therapy?
Once your general dentist performs tests on the tooth and recommends therapy, he or she can perform the treatment or refer you to an endodontist (a pulp specialist). Treatment usually involves one to three appointments.
First, you will probably be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to isolate it. Next, an opening is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which, along with the root canal, is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped.
Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the crown may then be sealed temporarily to guard against recontamination, the tooth may be left open to drain or the dentist may go right ahead and fill the canals.
If you’re given a temporary filling, usually on the next visit it’s removed and the pulp chamber and canal(s) are filled with gutta percha or another material to prevent recontamination. If the tooth is still weak, a metal post may be inserted above the canal filling to reinforce the tooth. Once filled, the area is permanently sealed. Finally, a gold or porcelain crown is normally placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve appearance.
What happens after treatment?
Natural tissue inflammation may cause discomfort for a few days, which can be controlled by an over-the-counter analgesic. A follow-up exam can monitor tissue healing. From this point on, brush and floss regularly, avoid chewing hard foods with the treated tooth, and see your dentist regularly.
The Perla team is highly experienced with root-canal procedures and offers services in over 10 locations in the Dallas Fort-Worth area including offices in – Arlington, Bedford, Burleson, Dallas, Desoto, Farmers Branch, Grand Prairie, Lake Highlands, Lancaster, Terrell.
This specialty service is provided by a General Dentist.