If you ask most people, they would rather do just about anything than get a root canal. The truth is root canal therapy actually alleviates pain and restores the health of a damaged tooth. With modern sedation options, patients remain calm and relaxed during the procedure.
To understand how a root canal works, it helps to look at the anatomy of a tooth. Your teeth contain a hard outer shell called enamel, a layer of dentin, and a soft nerve center referred to as pulp. This tissue, made up of nerves and blood vessels, keeps the tooth healthy, ensuring blood flow and providing vital nutrients.
When a tooth experiences severe trauma or develops deep decay, the pulp can sustain damage and die. Often, pressure and infection will build up inside the tooth. To save the tooth, your dentist may recommend a root canal, which can be performed in one appointment.
Signs you may need a root canal:
- A lingering toothache
- Blood or pus surrounding the tooth
- Pain during chewing
- Swelling in the gums or nearby tissue
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
For a root canal, the dentist will numb the tooth and then clean out the infection. Next, the doctor will sterilize the inside area and seal off the tooth to prevent future problems. After a root canal, the tooth will usually require a crown for a complete restoration. Most people actually feel better after root canal therapy. In fact, many patients only need over-the-counter pain relievers for mild soreness.Read More »
Once you have undergone root canal therapy, your tooth will require permanent dental restoration to allow it to return safely to full function. During a root canal treatment your dentist creates an access cavity in the tooth, which further weakens an already compromised tooth. Depending on the condition of your tooth, there are a several options to consider for restoring an endodontically treated tooth.
For a tooth that is relatively intact, with little damage to the overall structure of the tooth, your dentist may recommend a tooth-colored filling. Teeth that did not require the creation of a large access cavity or were not excessively damaged prior to treatment would be candidates for restoration with a filling. This type of restoration is probably best suited to small cavities in front teeth that are not utilized for heavy chewing.
The most common type of permanent restoration for root canal treated teeth are dental crowns. Because the tooth may have been severely damaged by either trauma or decay, root canal therapy further weakens the structure. Dental crowns provide stability and protect the tooth from future damage. Crowns also effectively protect against bacteria entering and contaminating the treated tooth. Studies have shown the highest success rate for the life of a tooth restored with a dental crown.
Your dentist will place a temporary restoration at the time of your root canal therapy. A permanent restoration, either filling or crown, should be placed as soon as reasonably possible to protect the tooth from additional fracture or decay. Consult with Broadmoor Family Dental in Shreveport for additional information about which type of restoration would be best suited to seal and protect your tooth after root canal therapy.Read More »