Natural teeth are very important and should be preserved at all costs. When they are afflicted with diseases, infections, and trauma, you should always consider treatments that focus on saving your natural teeth. Tooth extraction is a common procedure but affects your life negatively. Missing teeth can affect your self-esteem, bite alignment, and your ability to chew and talk.
Root canal treatments focus on saving your natural teeth and should be your first choice for best health and aesthetic results. Root canal treatments are performed to repair and save teeth that are severely decayed, damaged or infected. The procedure involves the removal of infected nerves and tissues from the pulp chamber present below the dentin.
Dr. Saeb has many years of experience under her belt and can treat your dental issues with great precision and care. She can easily evaluate the severity of your problem and provides the best treatment plan to save your teeth. For further queries and inquiries, visit our dental practice or book an appointment with us today.
Symptoms that you may require a root canal treatment
If you are facing any of the following symptoms, you might need a root canal treatment.
- Severe decay or trauma that infects the gums and roots of teeth.
- Spontaneous and persistent pain while biting and chewing.
- Tenderness in the gums, lymph nodes, and oral tissues.
- Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
- Discoloration and staining of the tooth’s surface.
- Mild fever accompanied by tenderness.
- Presence of fistula on the gums.
- Foul smell and taste in the oral cavity.
- Swelling and drainage.
- Abscessed teeth.
Step-by-step root canal procedure
A root canal treatment can be performed in one or two dental appointments and involves the following steps:
1. Your dentist examines and assesses the affected tooth using digital X-rays to determine the extent of decay and position of the roots. You will then be anesthetized to numb the affected area. A gingival dam is used to isolate the tooth to keep it free from saliva. Saliva carries bacteria that may interfere with the process.
2. An access hole is drilled on the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. Very fine tools are used to remove the dead nerves and tissues from the pulp chamber and root canals.
3. After the cleaning, a hollow is left inside the tooth. The pulp chamber and the canals are irrigated using disinfectants to remove all signs of bacteria. The hollow is then shaped to receive a dental filling. Your dentist will use an inert filling to fill the canals and the pulp chamber. You are sent home with a temporary filling that seals the access hole.
Impressions of your mouth are sent to a dental laboratory to custom-fabricate a crown to restore the treated tooth.
4. You will return to your dentist when the dental restoration is ready for installment. Your dentist will make the crown that matches the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth. The crown is placed on the treated tooth to protect and restore its natural shape and functionality. If you have lost a lot of tooth structure to decay or trauma, the tooth will not be able to hold the crown in place. In such a scenario, your dentist will install a post inside the tooth to improve its strength.
You are advised to receive a dental restoration after a root canal procedure because it provides protection, structural support, and natural look and is also long-lasting.
Most teeth can be saved and treated using root canal procedures. However, in a few cases, root canals are not accessible, roots are heavily fractured, and teeth lack required bone structure. Such teeth require extraction.
Root Canal Treatment: Post-Treatment Care
Root canal procedure is performed under anesthesia, and it takes some time to overcome the numbness. Refrain from consuming hot foods and beverages until the anesthesia wears off to prevent burning your tongue and oral tissues.
Do not bite or chew on the treated area until the tooth has been properly restored using a crown. The treated tooth is susceptible to cracks and fractures.
Brush and floss regularly to maintain good oral hygiene. Once the tooth is covered with a dental prosthetic, people believe that the tooth has become invincible and will never succumb to decay. It is, however, a false belief. Decay forms around the edges of the crown and reach the tooth roots and may ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Treat discomfort as required. Take painkillers for pain and antibiotics to ward off infections.
Your dentist often puts a temporary filling in your tooth till the dental restoration has been fabricated. It is normal for the filling to experience a little wear and tear but if the entire filling gets knocked out, visit your dentist as soon as possible.