Endodontics/ Root Canal Therapy
If you have a tooth that is infected, it may seem like the simplest solution to have it removed and replaced. Unfortunately, this can cause problems as the jawbone shifts to fill in where the natural root and tooth originally were. The more viable option for treating an infected or decayed tooth is a root canal. Root canal therapy is used when there is infection or decay in the nerve of the tooth.
The goal is to save the tooth by cleaning the bacteria, decay, nerves and pulp out, and fill in the existing space with special dental materials that ultimately give the tooth full function. Without root canal therapy, the tooth will die and have to be removed – leading to more extensive procedures in the future to replace it.
Symptoms and Signs a Root Canal May Be Necessary
Many infections can be treated with antibiotics, but once the problem is out of control, this procedure may be the most viable option. While a tooth can be dangerously infected with no symptoms or signs of a problem, the most common signs that you require treatment are:
- Severe pain from a toothache
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Abscess (similar to a pimple) on the gums
If there has been trauma or injury to the tooth, an abscess or infection has developed in the root tip or inside the tooth, or decay has made its way to the living tissue in the tooth known as the pulp, root canal therapy is likely the best option for treatment.
What to Expect
The tooth is first numbed to keep the procedure as painless as possible. The dentist then places a sheet of rubber around the tooth to keep it free of saliva and dry. The dentist makes a small opening at the very top of the infected tooth and special files are used to remove nerve tissue, bacteria and pulp from the tooth.
After the tooth is completely clean of all harmful substances and tissue, a permanent filling may be placed. In certain situations, your dentist may place a temporary filling and have you come back for another appointment to place the permanent one.
Typically, you will come in a week later for an appointment to fill the inside of the tooth and seal it with special materials. Most teeth with root canals also have caps or crowns placed over the top of them once the permanent filling has been set. This restores to the tooth to maximum function and protects it over time.
Serving Fort Washington, Oreland, Ambler, Dresher & Surrounding
Here at Harmony Dental Health conveniently located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, we recognize that every patient is different and every mouth is unique. That’s why we specialize your root canal treatment plan to meet your specific needs and ensure that your mouth is healthy. Call us today at 215-643-0363 to schedule an appointment.