Root Canal Treatment

Posted by Legacy Dental Clinic Mar 01, 2023

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A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. Normally, the nerve and pulp of the tooth are contained within a “pulp chamber.” However, if an infection develops, bacteria can reach the pulp chamber, causing an abscess. The infection can then spread down the root canal, which houses the pulp chamber, and toward the jawbone.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

A tooth with a diseased or injured nerve may require root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy. The pulp is the soft tissue within the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. If a tooth is cracked, injured or decayed, bacteria can enter the pulp and cause an infection. If the infection is not treated, it can spread to the bone around the tooth and can cause an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is a serious condition that can cause pain, swelling and illness if left untreated.

During root canal treatment, a dentist cleans the nerve canals of an infected tooth and disinfects them to prevent further decay. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort. Root canal treatment is successful in more than 90 percent of cases. However, a tooth that has received root canal treatment can still become re-infected due to new decay at the root surface or a crack in the crown. For this reason, regular checkups and cleanings are recommended after any dental treatment to prevent future problems.

Why do I need a Root Canal?

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call our dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible:

- Severe toothache

- Swollen gums around the a tooth

- Sensitivity to hot or cold food/drinks

- Extreme pain when chewing

- Pain during biting or pressure

Root canal treatment eliminates bacteria from the tooth and prevents it from spreading to other teeth. It also relieves the pain you are experiencing. Your dentist will remove the diseased tissue and then seal the area with a filling to prevent future infection. Regular cleanings and checkups will ensure that the infection does not return.

How does the Root Canal Procedure work?

First, your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth and surrounding tissue. Next, she will make a small hole in your tooth to access the pulp chamber and canal. Then, the infected material will be removed from your tooth’s canals and replaced with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. Finally, the hole will be sealed with a restoration. A dental crown will be recommended to strengthen the tooth. 

How is a Root Canal different from a Filling?

A root canal treatment involves removing the pulp from the inside of the tooth. Once the tooth is cleaned out, the dentist will fill the tooth with a rubber-like material called gutta percha. This prevents further infection and sensitivity, allowing you to keep the tooth for years to come. Root canal fillings are extremely durable and can last as long as 20 years or even longer with proper care. On the other hand, standard restoration options only last for about five to seven years before needing to be replaced.

Since root canal therapy is successful over 90 percent of the time, it is a highly recommended procedure for patients dealing with an infected tooth. It is also a great option for teeth that have experienced trauma and cannot be restored by other means. 

If you are experiencing significant pain due to an infected or inflamed tooth, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Nguyen at (825) 467-8888!

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