Endodontics (Root Canals)
The hard outer shell of a tooth houses a nourishing pulp chamber of blood vessels, nerves, and lymph vessels. A canal runs through center of the tooth root and provides a conduit for the vessels and nerves to connect to the remainder of the body’s systems. Severe decay or tooth damage can lead to a serious infection of the nerves and vessels of the pulp of the tooth. Endodontic treatment or a root canal is the process where the pulp chamber and canals cleaned out and disinfected. The organic tooth material will be replaced with an inert filling.
Common indicators that root canal treatment may be needed:
- Unprompted pain or throbbing
- Pain while eating, chewing or biting
- Tenderness to hot and cold
Severely decayed or injured teeth that can cause abscesses (infections) in the bone surrounding the tooth.
Nerves and vessels in the tooth pulp that have become damaged or infected will not heal by themselves. Without dental treatment, the infection may extend to the bone surrounding the affected tooth. This can cause the bone to deteriorate, leading to the tooth falling out. If the pain increases and becomes unbearable, it may force the patient to seek emergency dental attention. If a root canal cannot be performed, the only alternative in these circumstances is to have the tooth extracted, which can lead to shifting of the surrounding teeth and eventual malocclusion. Although the tooth extraction procedure is slightly less expensive than a root canal, the gap left from removing of the infected or damaged tooth will need to be filled by a dental implant or a dental bridge. Tooth extraction, combined with a dental implant or dental bridge procedure, are usually more costly than the root canal procedure alone. Preservation of the original teeth is always best option.
Root canal treatment at The Schultz Center for Cosmetic Dentistry requires just one visit. During the procedure local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Beginning at the top of the tooth, Dr. Schultz will then enter the pulp chamber and root canal to remove the infected portion as well as clean and reshape all diseased pulp. Dr. Schultz then uses a rubberlike substance called gutta percha to fill and seal the pulp chambers and canals.If the tooth is weak, Dr. Schultz may reinforce or support the tooth above the canal. The finally portion of the root canal procedure is the placement of a porcelain crown over the tooth to bolster strength and the tooth an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Root Canals are a very effective treatment and have a very high success rate. If you are experiencing pain and think you might need a root canal please contact us immediately.