San Saba Dental

Root Canal Therapy

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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy becomes necessary when a tooth’s nerve is affected by decay or infection. To preserve the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed, and the resulting space is filled with specialized, medicated dental materials, restoring the tooth’s full functionality.

Opting for a root canal procedure is the preferred treatment to save a tooth that would otherwise perish and need extraction. While some patients might consider pulling a problematic tooth as a solution, it’s crucial to recognize that tooth extraction is ultimately more costly and can lead to significant issues with adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatments are typically highly successful and often last a lifetime. Occasionally, a tooth may require retreatment due to new infections.

Indications and symptoms that may necessitate root canal therapy include:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes, no noticeable symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness.

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Root canals are required for various reasons, such as:

  • Decay reaching the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess developing inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

The root canal procedure involves one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist. During the procedure, the tooth is numbed, and a rubber dam is placed around it to keep it dry and saliva-free. An access opening is made on top of the tooth, and root canal files are used to remove the pulp, nerve tissue, bacteria, and any decay. If tooth decay is present, it’s removed using special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it’s sealed with either a permanent filling or, if further appointments are necessary, a temporary filling is applied. In subsequent appointments, usually scheduled a week later, the tooth’s roots and inner cavity are filled and sealed with specialized dental materials. A filling is placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. Additionally, all teeth undergoing root canal treatment should be capped with a crown (or cap) to protect the tooth, prevent breakage, and restore full functionality.

After the treatment, some sensitivity might persist, but it will diminish as inflammation subsides and the tooth heals. Care instructions are provided after each appointment. Practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental visits are crucial to ensuring the success and longevity of your root canal treatment.

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