Root canals are necessary to restore the health of a tooth when it has become infected. Root canal treatment removes the source of the infection and replaces the inflamed pulp tissue with a gutta-percha filling.
Despite removing the tooth’s roots, the tooth remains alive and healthy because it receives nutrients from the surrounding tissues. A tooth can become infected from untreated tooth decay, dental trauma, or a chip in the tooth that exposes the tooth’s nerves.
Signs that you need a root canal include severe pain, tooth sensitivity, discoloration, swelling of the gums and around the jaw, an abscess, and a chipped or cracked tooth. If you have these symptoms, contact us at Fremont Family Dentistry today to schedule a consultation.
Root canals usually take less than an hour to perform.
Dr. Lamprecht will look for signs of damage to the tooth and take x-rays to look at how deep any decay has penetrated through the tooth. These scans will reveal abscesses that indicate infection.
Before we start working on your tooth, your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic. We also offer dental sedation options for ultimate comfort.
After drilling into the tooth to access the tooth’s pulp chamber, the infected pulp and roots will be removed. The canals are then cleaned and reshaped. This may take multiple appointments to complete.
After we’ve removed the infected tissue and disinfected the inside of your tooth, we will replace the pulp with a permanent filling known as gutta-percha.
Finally, the access hole is sealed with either a permanent filling or a dental crown.
A root canal is a painless procedure that is comparable to a routine filling. Since we use a combination of anesthetic and sedation in our office, you will not experience any discomfort or pain during the procedure. After your first appointment, when we perform a pulpectomy to remove the infected pulp tissue, you will experience a lot of pain relief.
Tooth infections are painful because the inflamed pulp is connected to your tooth’s nerves. Once we remove these nerves and the source of the infection, there’s nothing left to cause this pain. This is why root canals are a treatment for pain relief, not a source of pain itself.
It takes just a few days to fully heal from a root canal treatment. During this time, you may experience minimal discomfort such as tooth sensitivity which can be relieved by taking anti-inflammatory pain medication and avoiding hot and cold foods and drinks for a few days.
Other than that, you will not have many limitations. You just need to wait until the anesthetic wears off a few hours following the procedure before you eat or drink hot liquids so that you don’t injure your mouth.
Root canals are minimally invasive and patients can return to work and other activities right away. Just keep the tooth clean and avoid hot liquids for the first 24 hours. Eating soft foods for the first few days will help prevent irritation.
Root canals carry a high success rate of 95% which prevents the need for an extraction.