Root canals are common procedures that are used to save a tooth that has large amounts of decay in it, or one that has become infected. Without the root canal, the tooth would likely need to be extracted. The method used in root canal therapy enables the dentist to save the tooth without requiring the need for a false tooth, such as a bridge.
Preventing Further Infection
If the inside of the tooth has become infected, the root canal procedure will be done to stop the infection. If the infection goes into the gums, it could easily spread and become an abscessed tooth. When this occurs, besides being very painful, the infection could spread to the brain – a potentially fatal condition.
The Root Canal Therapy
The procedure starts with drilling a hole in the top of the tooth. All decay is then drilled out. The soft pulp and nerves are removed with special tools (files) and then an antiseptic is applied to be sure to destroy bacteria in the tooth. The nerves in the tooth are only used to detect hot and cold and are not necessary for the health of the tooth.
This next step is up to the dentist as to when it will be performed. Some dentists like to perform it on the same day, but others may wait a week. The waiting period is to ensure that there is no reinfection. Once the sterilization is complete, the dentist will insert a rubber-like substance called gutta percha into the holes from the pulp to help prevent bacteria from entering from the bottom of the tooth.
Depending on the condition of the top of the tooth, the dentist will decide how to proceed. If it is in a rather good condition, the hole will simply be filled. Most likely, though, a temporary crown will be placed on the tooth, and a permanent one added later.
The Special Dentist
Treatment for a root canal is usually not conducted by a regular dentist. The specialists are called endodontists. They are dentists that have received more education and training and they specialize in saving teeth. Even though specialists usually do this, some dentists will perform root canals.
Success Rate of Root Canals
Root canals are conducted every day by dentists. 95 percent of them are successful, but on occasion, one will need to be redone.
Saving teeth with root canals is less expensive than the options for replacing missing teeth. This may include bridges or dental implants.
Preventing Root Canals
While the need for a root canal cannot always be prevented, such as when a knocked out tooth is replaced, there are some steps you can take that will greatly reduce the likelihood of needing one. Since many root canals are done because of bad amounts of decay, you can prevent most decay by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Reducing how much sugar you consume daily is also very important to the ongoing health of your teeth.
The dentists at Global Family Dental can provide root canal therapy when necessary. Call us today for more information or to set up an appointment.