What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removal of infected or inflamed pulp. Dental pulp is found in the centre of each tooth, and the number of pulps range from one to three. Although general dentist has the ability to perform root canal treatments, the dentist may refer you to an endodontist if there are any risks associated with the procedure.
When do you need root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy is generally indicated when tooth is damaged – either from advanced cavity or fracture due to trauma – to the point pulps are exposed. It is also indicted if the pulp is already dead. Exposed pulps are prone to infection and thus root canal therapy is often required as general restorative procedure at this point will not help save the tooth.
One may experience intermittent pain over a course of few months, may be sensitive to hot and cold stimuli, and experience throbbing pain upon pressure. If swelling of the area of tooth pain is apparent, this means there is an abscess (infection) associated at the tip of the roots. At this stage, you will need to contact your dentist immediately for antibiotics. You will first need to finish the whole course of prescribed antibiotics and wait until the infection to subside before your dentist can proceed with root canal treatment.
How is root canal therapy done?
A periapical x-ray of the diseased tooth will be taken for your dentist to provide accurate diagnosis. This is required as x-ray provides critical information that cannot be obtained with naked eye.
Once it has been determined by the dentist that root canal is required, enamel will be drilled carefully by the dentist to allow access of the infected dental pulp. Once pulp(s) are removed, inside of the tooth is thoroughly disinfected. The void then will be filled with biocompatible rubber material called “gutta percha”.
Upon successful completion of root canal therapy, you will no longer experience sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli. A temporary crown will be placed by the end of the procedure which will be replaced in approximately two weeks with a permanent crown.
How many visits are required to complete the Root Canal Therapy?
Crown, also commonly known as “cap”, is usually recommended in conjunction with root canal therapy. For this reason, root canal therapy generally requires two visits to the office. First visit will involve removal and cleaning of the dental pulp, and placing temporary crown. The second visit will be composed of relatively short appointment, where a permanent crown will be cemented on top of the tooth.
The crown is highly recommended especially for back teeth as tooth-colored filling alone is not strong enough to withhold mechanical force applied when chewing food. The crown is known for its exceptional durability and longevity, where it lasts approximately 15 years with proper care and maintenance; you must be sure to brush and floss for daily plaque control.
Saban Family Dental is located in Etobicoke, ON at 325 Burnhamthorpe Rd and offers a complete range of dental services for children, adults, and seniors.