Root Canals also referred to as endodontic therapy, are needed when the internal tissue or pulp of the tooth becomes infected. (The pulp is a soft tissue containing; vessels, nerves, and connective tissue) Once the pulp tissue is inflamed the nerve also becomes infected and this is what causes pain. After removing the bacteria and infected nerve an artificial nerve is placed inside the tooth in order to restore function.
Damage, irritation, or inflammation of a tooth’s pulp is generally caused by:
- Deep decay (often from failure to maintain proper oral hygiene)
- Having multiple procedures performed on one tooth (e.g. cavity fillings)
- Improper cavity fillings that result in further decay
- Cracks or chips in the tooth
- Trauma to the face
Symptoms of decay deep enough to warrant a root canal usually include a severe toothache that responds to any amount of pressure applied, sensitivity to hot/cold foods, swelling of the gums, and in severe cases, a darkening of the tooth’s enamel. The earlier you see your dentist, the better chance you’ll have at saving your tooth and preventing unnecessary pain. Risks of untreated tooth decay may result in an abscess (which is a formation of pus around the infected tooth), nerve damage, and complete loss of the tooth that would require a tooth extraction.
At Image Dental, we utilize the latest equipment to ensure that your root canal procedure is comfortable and successful. Dr. Ngo uses a Carl Zeiss microscope to perform root canals; this top of the line microscope magnifies the tooth up to 23 times to ensure extreme accuracy for your procedure.
After the procedure, the Dr. will schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure the infection is eliminated and has not spread. Typically, most patients desire a permanent crown following their root canal therapy to completely restore the area, making it look wholesome again. A restored tooth could last you the rest of your life and will shield you from any damage against your gums, jawbones, and teeth.
As you wait for our crown, a temporary tooth will be placed into your mouth so that you may resume normal eating and drinking the following day. You should stay away from hard, solid foods that may have the potential to crack or chip the temporary. Some patients may experience soreness the following days after a root canal, which can be treated through the use of over-the-counter inflammatory drugs such as Advil or ibuprofen.
Root canals are considered a safe, effective treatment that dentists have been using for many years.
If you maintain proper dentistry care by brushing, flossing, and regular check ups, your tooth will be healthy and will last you a life span.