Root canal therapy is one of the most misunderstood and dreaded dental treatments. Thought to be a scary and painful experience, root canal therapy is actually safe and gentle when performed by an experienced, skilled dentist like Dr. Chris McDonald.
Root canal therapy saves infected teeth so they do not need to be extracted. Whenever possible, it is preferable to save natural teeth and rehabilitate them back to health. He understands that no one looks forward to a root canal, but he will reassure you about any fears or concerns you may have.
When Is Root Canal Needed?
The inside of a tooth is filled with a soft tissue called pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The pulp extends from the tooth’s crown to the tip of its roots, or “legs.” Dental pulp plays an important role during a tooth’s growth; however, a fully mature tooth can survive without the pulp, as it is nourished by the surrounding tissue.
Dental pulp can become infected or inflamed due to tooth decay, injury or repeated dental procedures on the tooth. Infected dental pulp can cause persistent tooth pain, sensitivity to heat and cold and tooth discoloration. The gums near the infected tooth may become swollen. The tooth may even feel loose. If a tooth infection is not addressed, the problem can escalate, leading to significant pain or possibly an abscess.
Root Canal, Step by Step
Root canal therapy removes the infected or inflamed tissue, cleans out the tooth’s roots and protects the tooth from further decay.
Dr. McDonald takes measures to ensure that root canal is a gentle and comfortable experience. Prior to the root canal, the area surrounding the affected tooth is completely numbed so you do not feel any pain during treatment. The tooth is isolated with a small protective sheet to keep it clean during the root canal.
To begin, Dr. McDonald makes a small opening in the crown of the tooth. He uses special instruments to remove the infected or inflamed dental pulp from the pulp chamber and roots of the tooth. He cleans and shapes these roots, then fills them with a biocompatible rubber-like material. This seals off the roots so they cannot become infected or inflamed again. Once the roots have been filled, Dr. McDonald either places a filling to close the opening of the tooth or covers the tooth with a crown.
How to Ensure Best Results
After a root canal, your tooth should function normally and last as long as the rest of your healthy teeth, as long as you practice proper oral hygiene habits. It is also important that you have regular check-ups to look at all of your teeth for any possible signs of decay or damage.
Learn More About Root Canal Therapy
If you are experiencing persistent tooth pain or sensitivity that might indicate an infected tooth, Dr. McDonald encourages you to schedule a check-up promptly. Please call McDonald Family Dentistry or send us an email to request an appointment today.