In the past, teeth whose nerves had become diseased had to be removed from the mouth. Thanks to advances in endodontics and dental technology allows us to save the tooth with a relatively simple and virtually painless procedure known as root canal therapy. The professional staff at Buckner Family Dental is well-trained and experienced in the application of this therapy, and can help save your tooth.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that allows your dentist to save a tooth whose dental pulp has become diseased. This pulp supplies your tooth with the nutrients, blood vessels, and nerves that help keep your tooth healthy and strong. Root canal therapy is generally a simple process, and causes little to no discomfort in most patients.
What Is Involved in Root Canal Therapy?
In this procedure, your dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding area. Then, the dentist will create an opening through the crown of the tooth, into the dental pulp chamber. Through this hole, your dentist will gently remove the diseased dental pulp from inside the tooth. The empty dental canal and pulp chamber that leads to the tooth root will then be thoroughly cleaned and checked to ensure that all of the diseased tooth matter has been removed. Once this is done, your dentist will fill the pulp chamber and place a temporary filling over the hole.
During your second appointment, the temporary filling that was put into place during your root canal will be replaced, either with a permanent filling or a dental crown. Which dental restoration you receive will depend on your personal preference and the tooth’s location within the mouth. If you choose to have a filling placed, you will have the option of using a more traditional dental amalgam, or a filling made from tooth-colored dental composite materials.
After Your Root Canal
Be sure to carefully follow any after care instructions provided by your dentist following your root canal therapy. While some pain is normal for a day or two, you should call your dentist immediately if:
- You develop a fever
- Your tooth cracks or breaks
- Your tooth hurts when you bite down
- You have new or increased swelling in your gums
- You have tooth pain that spreads up to your gums or throughout your face
In some cases, having the dental pulp removed during root canal therapy may discolor your teeth. If this has happened for one of your visible teeth, your dentist may recommend that you have a second procedure to place a dental veneer or recommend dental bonding to re-whiten your tooth. Usually they will discuss this with you at the time of your appointment and help you choose which option is best for your case.
Having a tooth with diseased tooth pulp is no small matter. This infection can eventually spread down into your gums and other teeth, causing a number of dental problems. Teeth that are left untreated may eventually need to be extracted. Our well-trained and caring Endodontic specialists can treat these infections, and help ensure that your teeth can stay where they belong. Our Dallas dentist Jaime Osorio DDS can tell you more about root canal therapy.