FAQs About Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is also known as endodontic therapy. This dental procedure is designed to treat a tooth that has suffered from some type of trauma, infection, or disease. With root canal therapy, the roots of a tooth are purged of their contents (blood, pulp, nerve tissue) … preventing the need to extract the tooth.
Questions Commonly Asked About Root Canal Therapy
Why do I need a root canal? When the nerve of a tooth is damaged, this treatment option is the only choice available to avoid extraction.
What are some of the symptoms? While discomfort when biting down or sensitivity to hot or cold are main symptoms, one may not experience anything at all. A dental x-ray may indicate the need for a root canal without any noticeable symptoms.
Will it hurt? The discomfort of root canal therapy is on par with that of having a cavity treated. The tooth prior to treatment is likely to lead to more discomfort than the treatment itself.
Wouldn’t it just be easier to extract the tooth? First of all, any tooth can require a root canal. You most certainly wouldn’t entertain the idea of removing a tooth in your smile line when it can be saved. It is usually much more advantageous to save a tooth whenever possible.
What is involved in root canal therapy? Your dental provider will take an x-ray to determine how many roots are involved and their exact position. Anesthetic is applied to numb the area. A rubber dam will be used to segregate the tooth to keep it dry. An access point is created and endodontic files are inserted that extract the contents of each of the tooth’s roots. The dental assistant is continually suctioning away the matter removed.
Once all roots are cleared, the dentist will need to fill the now empty root canals with a material called gutta percha; the access point must be sealed eventually. This is done very often with a dental crown, but in some cases it can be sealed with a tooth colored bonding material.
Root Canal vs. Extraction
Whenever possible, your dentist is likely going to recommend saving a natural tooth. When the need for a root canal is indicated, the only other choice is extraction. A root canal is easy and provides an excellent means to save a damaged tooth.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact the office of Dr. Randy Parham today.