ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
There’s no doubt that root canals can be some of the most painful issues a person can encounter. If you’ve ever had the need for a root canal, you know what we’re talking about.
A root canal is needed when there is incredible decay present and infection has overwhelmed the tooth.
Within each tooth is endodontium, or tooth pulp, an intricate bundle of nerves, blood vessels, and living tissues known as odontoblasts. Found just underneath the top layer of enamel, tooth pulp is essential to the tooth for several reasons; it nourishes the tooth through blood flow, and it produces dentin for the tooth.
Most importantly, however, tooth pulp is responsible for all sensory function within the tooth, allowing you to feel things like temperature and pain.
It all begins with decay in the tooth. When left untreated, it continues to grow and expand until it reaches into the actual root of your tooth.
The tooth pulp is stricken with inflammation, becoming red and enlarged and sensitive to the touch. The decay continues to grow and expand, rooting deeper and deeper within the tooth, until eventually it leads to infection.
Inflammation alone is reason enough for a root canal, but decay and damage within the tooth can also impact your life in other ways, too. Chewing, eating and drinking become near impossible from the pain; the tooth is very sensitive, and the pressure and force from chewing or biting can be unbearable.
Cosmetically, the tooth may experience discoloration, sometimes severe enough to require the use of a veneer. Teeth whitening is also a popular option to correct the darkening of affected teeth.
Another issue may fail to consider is the effect that a decayed tooth can have on the other teeth. Pain and discomfort may lead you to chew differently, applying extra force on other teeth. This can ultimately weaken and jeopardize your other teeth, as well.
When infection takes root, it becomes more important than ever to seek immediate medical attention.
Endodontists specialize in the pulp of the tooth and have the experience and training necessary not only to diagnose a root canal, but also to recommend the best course of treatment. Often enough, this means a root canal.
Despite the tremendous pain commonly associated with tooth decay, a root canal is actually a relatively comfortable and speedy process.
It is also a relatively simple in-office procedure when performed by a knowledgeable dental team armed with the right tools and technology. X-rays may be needed beforehand so that Dr. Huynh can identify the location and extent of the damage.
Based on a comprehensive exam and additional X-ray images, your personal team of dental specialists will create a custom treatment plan for your specific case.
A local anesthetic is typically used in order to numb the tooth’s nerves and ensure your comfort throughout all parts of the procedure. This popular numbing agent will successfully prevent any feelings of pain or sensitivity throughout the duration of the procedure.
With your comfort ensured, Dr. Huynh will begin the root canal by first removing the pulp of the damaged tooth. Disinfectants will be used to kill any remaining infection and decay, and the tooth will be prepared for the filling.
A hole will be drilled into the affected tooth so that all of the damaged tissue can be extracted. Once the decay has been entirely removed, Dr. Huynh will clean the tooth using specialty root canal files and sodium hypochlorite before sealing it with a custom combination of paste and rubber.
Depending on the extent of the tooth’s damage and the medical treatment needed, a root canal may be split into dual appointments. A temporary filling may be utilized to provide short-term relief and prevent any breakage until the final filling can be addressed.
WebMD reports that root canals have over a 95% success rate when combatting tooth decay and disease.
It is normal for the affected tooth to require a crown encasement for additional support in the future. Some resulting sensitivity and inflammation is normal after the procedure, but that is easily solved through over-the-counter pain relievers and naturally dissipates within 24 hours.
Your care does not just end with a root canal, however. Improper care can actually lead to new infection, decay, and disease, so Dr. Huynh takes the time to demonstrate appropriate oral hygiene habits to ensure your future health and wellness.
To schedule an in-office root canal examination, contact our office for an appointment!