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Root Canals

ROOT CANALS

At Governor's Park Dental Group, we work closely with several specialists and Endodontists in the area, including those that perform Root Canal procedures. We will make sure you receive nothing but the best care possible!

In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Now, with “root canal treatment,” your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can injure your jawbones and be harmful to your overall health.

Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth has extensive decay, your dentist may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.

Q: What is a root canal procedure?

A: A root canal or root canal therapy is a dental procedure to repair a tooth by removing the pulp from the root canal(s) of the tooth. Root canal therapy requires one or more office visits and is usually performed by an endodontist. Teeth that have had root canal therapy most often need a crown in order to prevent breakage and restore it to full function. Your dentist will discuss the need for any additional dental work with you.

Q: Why do I feel pain?

A: When the pulp becomes infected due to a deep cavity or fracture, bacteria can seep in. When there has been an injury due to trauma, the pulp can die. Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow, pressure, and cellular activity. Pain in the tooth is commonly felt when biting down or chewing, and eating or drinking hot and/or cold foods and beverages.

Q: Why do I need root canal therapy?

A: The tooth will not heal by itself. Without treatment, the infection will spread. The bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually worsens until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is extraction of the tooth, which can cause the surrounding teeth to shift, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have the choice, it's always best to keep your original teeth.

Q: What are the risks and complications with root canal therapy?

A: More than 95 percent of root canal treatments are successful. However, sometimes a case needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went undetected, or the fracturing of the canal filling. More commonly, a root canal therapy will fail altogether, marked by the return of pain.

Q: What happens after root canal therapy?

A: Once root canal therapy is completed, the endodonist will refer the patient back to our office for the permanent restoration on the tooth. A temporary filling was placed immediately following the root canal therapy and will need to be replaced with a permanent filling or crown and build up. A crown will be necessary on all postier teeth to properly protect the root canal- treated tooth from fracturing. Front teeth can typically be restored with a filling, however a crown may be necessary in some cases. Your dentist will determine the best choice for your individual needs.

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