Root canal treatment, which is also known as endodontic therapy, is provided when a tooth’s interior pulp has become damaged by infection or decay. This treatment can often save a tooth from extraction. If this occurs, then we will have no choice but to remove it from the mouth entirely. Therefore, if root canal treatment is recommended, the procedure should be provided as soon as possible.
Inside every tooth is soft living tissue known as the pulp. This material extends all the way down to the jawbone, and it is full of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. The pulp is usually protected by the outer enamel, but serious issues can occur if it becomes exposed. This can occur due to a deep cavity or an oral injury. During root canal treatment, much of the tooth’s inner pulp will be replaced with medicated fillings. These fillings promote healing, and they will provide structure and strength for the tooth following treatment. Meanwhile, much of the tooth’s original structure will be left intact.
Some signs that a tooth is suffering from infected inner pulp include:
- Severe and intense toothache that is reoccurring
- Sensitivities to hot and cold
- Swollen and tender lymph nodes
- Swollen gums and recurring abscesses on the gums
Before providing root canal treatment, our experts will start by taking X-rays of the tooth. This is done so that the true extent of the damage can be properly determined. In most cases, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. This will prevent the patient from experiencing pain during root canal treatment. Other forms of sedation may also be provided if needed. The final step of preparation is to place a rubber sheet around the tooth. This is referred to as a dental dam, and it is used to keep the tooth dry and to prevent the infection from spreading during root canal treatment.
After the final preparations have been made, we will use specialized dental tools to access the inner portion of the tooth from the top. This will allow us to clean out any infected material and decay that is present. Once the inside of the tooth is clean, an antimicrobial liquid will be used to flush out the root canals. This will eliminate any harmful materials down to the tooth’s root. With the root canals clean, we will then use medicated fillings to seal off the structure and to provide strength for the tooth. The procedure is finished by applying a dental crown over the top of the tooth. The crown will protect the tooth from breakages or fractures during the recovery process. After the tooth has healed, it will be able to be used like any other healthy tooth.
If one of your teeth is demonstrating signs of an infected root canal, then root canal treatment may be necessary. Please call us at 630-454-8166 to schedule an appointment.