Root Canal / Endodontics
What is a root canal and why do I need one?
A root canal essentially involves replacing the nerves that run through your tooth with a material called gutta percha. A root canal is done when the decay becomes so extensive that it reaches the nerve. At this point the damages is irreversible and a root canal must be done in order to save the tooth. If root canal treatment is necessary and not completed it in a timely manner it could lead to severe pain and an abscess or infection in the area.
Signs that you may need a root canal:
- A tooth that is sensitive to being tapped or experience sensitivity during chewing
- An abscess right about the tooth
- Severe pain with a tooth
- A tooth that is draining pus
- Swelling or tenderness in your lymph nodes
After your dentist completes a thorough exam including clinical exam and x-rays it will be determined whether or not a root canal is necessary for you. If the root canal is necessary your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan and will explain the process of the root canal and prognosis of tooth. If you decide to complete the root canal the process will include:
- Initial visit: Diagnosis and debridement of the pulp and the nerve followed by medication placed inside the tooth, then a temporary material will be placed in the tooth until the next visit.
- Second visit: Debridement and shaping followed by final filling of the root canals with gutta percha.
It is important to note that most teeth receiving root canals will need a crown. After, a root canal is done the tooth because weak and brittle and is much more susceptible to fracture. A crown is used to protect the existing tooth structure and replace the form and function of the tooth.