What You Should Know About Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that removes infected or inflamed pulp from inside a tooth. The pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. Root canal therapy is performed to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
When is root canal therapy needed?
Root canal therapy is necessary when the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Deep decay: When a cavity is left untreated for a long period of time, it can grow deep enough to reach the pulp.
- Trauma: A crack or chip in a tooth can also allow bacteria to enter the pulp.
- Repeated dental procedures: Sometimes, multiple dental procedures on the same tooth can weaken the tooth and make it more susceptible to infection.
Symptoms of a tooth that needs root canal therapy
The most common symptom of a tooth that needs root canal therapy is pain. The pain may be sharp and throbbing, or it may be dull and constant. Other symptoms may include:
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Swelling around the tooth
- Drainage from the tooth
- A loose tooth
- A dark-colored tooth
What to expect during root canal therapy
Root canal therapy is typically performed in one or two appointments. During the first appointment, the las vegas dentist will numb the area around the tooth and then place a rubber dam around the tooth to isolate it from the rest of the mouth. Next, the dentist will make a small opening in the top of the tooth and remove the infected or inflamed pulp. The dentist will then clean and shape the inside of the tooth canal. Once the canal is clean, the dentist will fill it with a rubber-like material and seal the opening.
If the tooth is severely damaged, the dentist may place a post inside the canal to help support the tooth. After the canal is filled, the dentist will place a temporary filling on the tooth.
At the second appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary filling and place a permanent filling or crown on the tooth. The crown is necessary to protect the tooth and restore its function.
Recovery from root canal therapy
Most people experience some discomfort after root canal therapy. This discomfort is usually mild and can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication. It is important to follow the dentist’s instructions after root canal therapy to ensure a good recovery. This may include avoiding chewing on the treated tooth for a few days and taking antibiotics if prescribed.
Benefits of root canal therapy
Root canal therapy has many benefits, including:
- It saves the tooth from extraction.
- It relieves pain and inflammation.
- It prevents the infection from spreading to other teeth.
- It allows the tooth to function normally.
Risks of root canal therapy
Root canal therapy is a safe and effective procedure, but there are some risks associated with it, including:
- Pain and discomfort during and after the procedure.
- Fracture of the tooth.
- Failure of the root canal treatment.
Alternatives to root canal therapy
The only alternative to root canal therapy is extraction of the tooth. However, extraction should be avoided whenever possible, as it can lead to other problems, such as shifting of the teeth and bone loss.
Cost of root canal therapy
The cost of root canal therapy varies depending on the complexity of the procedure and the location of the tooth. However, it is generally less expensive than having a tooth extracted and replaced.
Root canal therapy is a safe and effective procedure that can save a tooth from extraction. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a tooth that needs root canal therapy, be sure to see your dentist right away.