Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw.
The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then remove some tooth structure to create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. After the infection has been removed, the space if filled with a sealant called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is successful.
“Root canal” has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary”. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard. If you are experiencing pain schedule a consultation today.
A root canal ls a procedure where the nerve and blood supply is removed from the tooth. We start by creating an opening into your tooth; through this opening; we are abie to remove the nerve. Once the nerve is removed, we place a sterile filling into the canal space that we created to fill that space.
Why do I need a root canal?
Root canals are needed when the damage to the tooth is so severe that the nerve has been damaged beyond repair. We can tell this when you experience sensitivity to hot, cold, and/or pressure. We can also usually see an infection starting on an x-ray. We use these to determine if a root canal is needed. Another reason a root canal would be needed is if you have broken your tooth and there isn’t enough tooth left to repair it. A root canal would be done to allow a post to be placed to give more strength and stability for long-term success. A third reason is if you have a crack or fracture that has actually fractured all the way into the nerve. If this happens, these are usually more difficult to diagnose, but your symptoms can be very severe.
Are you taking the root out?
Simple answer is no, we don’t remove the root. We remove the nerve and blood supply from the tooth which runs in the middle of each root, or canal. Once the nerve is damaged beyond repair, the body recognizes the dead/dying nerve as a foreign material and that is why you can develop an abscess. When we have cleaned and disinfected the canal, we then place the sterile filling to fill that space.
What is a post?
A post is a rod that is placed when there has been a root canal done and we feel that more strength is needed than what your remaining natural tooth can provide. A post can be Steel,Titanium, Carbon Fiber or other material. We typically use the Carbon Fiber posts. They do provide the strength we need, but also provide us with some flexibility once placed. All metal posts are not flexible once placed. We feel that your tooth has some natural flex so we choose to use a material that as closely matches your natural tooth as we can.
Why do I need a post?
Posts are used to add strength and stability to a tooth that has had a root canal. Not all root canalled teeth need posts, but posts are only placed in root canalled teeth. If there is a question as to enough remaining natural tooth to support the final crown or filling, then a post would be placed to ensure the final restoration lasts.
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