The space inside the hard layers of each of your teeth is called your root canal.
This canal is filled with a soft pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help the teeth to grow and develop.
Normally the dental pulp is protected by hard layers of dentin and enamel, but deep decay or fractures due to bite or other trauma can injure the pulp and allow bacteria to enter the chamber.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a gentle and highly effective procedure in which the pulp is removed and the tooth is sealed.
This treatment is the only way to save an infected tooth, but it does cause brittleness in the tooth structure.
To maintain the treated tooth’s strength and stability it needs a dental crown to prevent further damage.
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with tooth pulp, commonly referred to as “the nerve.”
This involves the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of dental diseases that affect the pulp.
Teeth that are inflamed, infected, cracked or traumatized will typically require endodontic therapy, more commonly known as a root canal.
It’s true that root canals have a undeserved bad reputation, but it’s also true that today, root canals are typically painless, easy and highly successful.
What To Expect?
Your first visit is typically an endodontic evaluation.
This includes 1 or more X-rays, a discussion about any symptoms you may be experiencing, specific testing of the teeth in the area and discussion about possible treatments, including their advantages and disadvantages.
If your dentist thinks root canal therapy is a good solution to treat your tooth, a typical appointment will last 60 – 90 minutes, depending on the complexity of your tooth.
Root Canal Procedure
Root canals are safe and predictable.
They involve freezing the area being treated, placing a rubber dam over the affected tooth, a little drilling (usually less than 5 minutes), and then cleaning the inflamed or infected pulp tissue out of the tooth.
Sometimes a root canal will take more than one visit.
If that’s the case, your dentist will pack some medicine into the roots of your tooth and then place a temporary filling in the hole. After 2-3 weeks, you will return to have the tooth cleaned out again and the roots filled with a rubber material called gutta percha.
It is important to recognize the pain may go away after the initial cleaning appointment, but not all of the bacteria might have been removed.
Not coming back to have the procedure completed can often end result in an even larger infection, sometimes requiring hospitalization.
It is imperative to the success of the root canal to place a filling in the roots.
After a Root Canal
Following a root canal, roughly half of the people will experience no pain, while the other half will experience mild-moderate pain that they can manage with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
About 5% of people experience moderate-severe pain and require prescription medications.
Please call any time with questions or concerns about your treatment.
Lastly, all teeth will require a buildup (commonly known as a filling) to close the hole created to remove the nerve. Most teeth will require a crown after the root canal, so it is important that you see your dentist shortly after your treatment is completed.
Delay of this process may result in the tooth breaking, so this procedure should not be delayed.
Studies show that teeth that are restored within 2 weeks of root canal treatment have the highest success rates.
Schedule an appointment with Sierra Dental Airdrie by contacting us at (403) 768-1000 or online here.
EVENING & WEEKEND APPOINTMENTS
We understand that you are busy and don’t always have time to visit a dentist for a routine checkup in the middle of your Monday. That’s why we offer extended hours from 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday.
We are also open all throughout the weekend. That’s right, we’re open every day of the week.
DIRECT BILLING TO INSURANCE PLANS
To support our clients, we offer direct billing, predeterminations of treatments, and financial arrangements to all our patients to ensure smooth and easy payment transactions.
PAYMENT PLANS & FINANCING AVAILABLE
We understand that dental services can be an unexpected expense. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans and options to suit our patients’ needs. Speak with one of our dental assistants to learn more.
At Sierra Dental, you will never struggle to find parking. Our clinics offer convenient parking options that are free of charge to our patients. It’s one more way we work to put a smile on your face.
After your final root canal treatment, the tooth may be sensitive for a few days. You should:
Avoid biting down on hard or sticky foods.
Take over-the-counter painkillers if you experience some pain or swelling
If this persists passed a few days or becomes more severe, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible.
You should maintain excellent oral hygiene habits to avoid the need for further treatment. This includes brushing at least twice daily, flossing daily, avoiding sugary or acidic food and drink, not smoking, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings.
When a root canal treatment is performed, the dentist creates an access hole through the top of the tooth to ensure the inner pulp can be expertly removed. This process helps to remove any leftover nerve tissue but also hollows out the tooth structure. The hollow tooth structure then becomes more susceptible to fractures over time. By placing a crown on the tooth, the dentist can tie the cusps together and ensure the tooth is much less likely to fracture during day-to-day activities.
Crowns Can Help To Prevent the Failure of the Root Canal
After going through a challenging oral care treatment such as a root canal, the last thing a patient wants is to go for more treatment in the immediate days afterward. However, they may have to if the root canal treatment fails. A root canal may fail if contaminants from the mouth find their way through the dental restoration and into the tooth, potentially causing infection and other dental issues. Crowns can be used to help prevent the failure of the root canal by stopping contaminants from entering the tooth initially, allowing the restoration time to heal. A qualified dentist working with a dental crown can help ensure root canal success and ensure the tooth is healed for the long-term.
In simple terms, a root canal procedure is required when a cavity has been left untreated too long. Cavity fillings are used to fill small holes in teeth in cases where the nerve has not yet been damaged or affected by the cavity. This treatment only takes one visit to your dentist and is rarely painful thanks to freezing.