At Taylor Dental, our goal is to save your natural teeth whenever it’s possible. To do this, our doctors are specialized in endodontic services, also known as root canal therapy. This is one of the most common procedures in dentistry, and our team is well-equipped to perform this procedure so that your pain is alleviated and any infection is eliminated.
Root canal therapy is necessary when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected. This is generally caused by decay, trauma, fracture, or extensive dental work, such as a large filling. The infection can spread to adjacent teeth, causing more complex issues. The bacteria can also cause a dental abscess, which forms around the end of the tooth root. Some indications of a tooth infection include:
- Swelling of gums
- Drainage or pus
- Discoloration of tooth
- Severe temperature sensitivity
- Swelling of the jaw, face, or neck
- Fistula, or pimple, on the gums
Root canal infections are very painful and can be a sign of a deeper issue. Root canal therapy is centered around removing the infected pulp in the chamber of the tooth and then filling it with a safe material. The infected pulp has to be removed because if let in the chamber, the bacterial infection could spread into the bloodstream and cause problems for your overall health.
While a root canal infection is a serious matter, this procedure is very common and is something we often perform in the office. If you are worried about what your root canal therapy might look like, here are a few things you can expect on the day of your procedure:
- Anesthesia: The gums will be numbed with local anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the duration of the procedure.
- Tooth preparation: A small opening will be made in the tooth to reach the infected area. We must be able to access the pulp chamber and root canals of the tooth.
- Pulp removal: The tooth pulp, nerves, and infected tissues will be removed from inside the tooth.
- Cleaning the tooth: The pulp chamber and root canals will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, ensuring all infection is removed.
- Filling the tooth: Once clean, the inside of the root canals will be filled with a flexible dental material called gutta-percha.
- Sealing the tooth: Once root canal therapy is complete, the tooth will be sealed. While some patients may only require a dental filling, most will require a dental crown to help protect the weakened tooth. Our crowns can be fabricated from high-quality materials on the same day in our office, using CEREC® technology.
Root canal therapy is nothing to worry about when you are in the hands of seasoned professionals. We use top-of-the-line technology and have carefully developed processes so that you can have the most comfortable experience possible. Our doctors and team members are very knowledgeable on the subject and are well suited to help alleviate the pain you may feel from a root canal infection as well as treat it so that it doesn’t persist moving forward.
Following root canal therapy, patients may experience increased tooth sensitivity. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken if needed. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can provide relief and decrease swelling. It is important to resume your normal oral hygiene habits following root canal therapy. Patients should brush and floss and maintain regular cleanings and dental exams.
After you undergo root canal therapy, the integrity of your tooth may be compromised. Our goal is to save your natural tooth so that you can maintain your naturally beautiful smile, so we have an appliance that helps strengthen your tooth.
Dental posts are added to existing teeth and act as a reinforcer to stabilize the tooth after root canal therapy. It consists of a small metal shaft that is placed in the tooth. The post is extremely durable and can last for 15-20 years after being implanted. The tooth is then covered with a crown so that it can be stabilized while still maintaining its original shape. The combination of the post and crown can save your natural tooth and deliver flawless aesthetics.
We offer these endodontic services because we want to preserve your natural teeth as best we can. We know that these infections may seem crippling, but the Taylor Dental team is here to help you through the process, and we will always provide you with a treatment plan that is personalized to your oral health needs.