A root canal procedure is needed when the inner portion of a tooth has become infected. Though patients never want to hear that it’s needed, infected tooth pulp can not heal itself. Our team at College Hill Dental can help, we can review the problem, locate the source of the infection, remove the source, and restore the tooth to health. We can help you have a healthy smile, strengthening your teeth and giving you a beautiful look.
Why do I need a root canal?
Root canal therapy is needed when bacteria have found a passage to the inner portion of your tooth. This is often due to bacteria creating a deep cavity, but can also occur when the tooth has fractured, tiny cracks in the tooth have formed, or a filling has experienced shrinkage creating space between the filling and tooth.
Some patients may experience dull pain or sensitivity; others may have much more obvious pain, neither should be ignored. An infection inside your tooth will not heal, it will spread in the narrow web of canals to neighboring teeth, destroying your teeth, bone, and gum tissue. The results will be painful and expensive. There are only two options, to remove the infected tooth or to have a root canal procedure.
Removing the infected tooth is a possibility, but not one that we recommend. Missing teeth will cause a cascade of effects, some that are immediately noticeable, and some that will show after years. Missing teeth can cause difficulty in your ability to chew, in your speech, leave room for neighboring teeth to roam in an uncontrolled fashion and result in bone loss. When possible, we always recommend saving the natural tooth structure.
Root Canal Therapy Procedure
A root canal is not painful, as often described, it releases the pain that is already brewing inside. We begin the root canal by providing the patient with a local anesthetic to provide pain relief. Once numb, we then create a space inside the tooth to reach the pulp. We remove all of the inner portion, the pulp, the nerve, and the infected material. When the tooth was growing, this inner pulp was needed, but once the tooth is fully formed, it no longer is. The canal is then cleansed with an antibacterial wash and filled with a medicated rubber material. The tooth is finally sealed with filling material and covered with a dental crown.
Dental crowns are expensive; this is because they are always custom made and fitted. Having a tooth covered with a dental crown provides the tooth much-needed strength. With the tooth covered, it is now strong enough to use for regular chewing.
We recommend patients to protect their teeth; this can be done through a regular hygiene routine, along with maintaining a working relationship with our office where we can evaluate the status of your teeth and help you catch problems before they become bigger. Having a healthy smile will assist in your overall health along with your comfort and confidence.