Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy has a bad reputation for being a painful procedure but the main purpose of it is to solely alleviate pain and save teeth! It is a simple procedure and only requires 1-2 visits to complete.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
According to the National Institute of Health, root canal therapy is when infected or dying tissue that is apart of the pulp is removed from a tooth.
What is the pulp?
The outermost layer of the tooth, the white part that can be seen above your gums, is called the enamel. Underneath the enamel lies the dentin and just under that is tissue called the pulp. The pulp extends from the crown to the very end/tip of the root and encompasses blood vessel, nerves, and connective
If this inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can lead to a dental abscess which can cause permanent damage to the bone surrounding the tooth and if the damage is severe enough the tooth may need to be extracted.
Why would I need a root canal?
You may need root canal therapy when the soft tissue inside your pulp becomes inflamed or infected. When this occurs, it can cause severe pain or no pain at all and if left untreated it can lead to a dental abscess. Once a dental abscess develops, it can cause permanent damage to the surrounding bone and if it's severe enough it can cause the need for a tooth extraction. Dental abscesses can also spread infection in the bloodstream and can be life-threatening.
There are several causes for why you need root canal therapy including:
a tooth with a deep cavity
trauma to the tooth
a cracked tooth
a fractured/chipped tooth
Signs or symptoms to watch out for:
pulsing or sharp pain
sometimes no pain is present
What is the procedure like?
Root canal therapy is usually completed in 1-2 visits. Antibiotics may be prescribed prior to treatment but ask our doctor to see what is recommended for your tooth.
Dr. Lukic will examine the tooth and x-rays.
Local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth.
A protective sheet called a "rubber dam" will be used to cover the tooth so that the tooth environment remains sterile throughout the procedure
The dentist will make a small opening through the crown and will use small instruments to remove the pulp, disinfect and shape the canal so that a filling can be placed.
The dentist will then place a biocompatible material called "gutta percha" into the canal space and seal the space with either a temporary material or a permanent composite restoration.
If your tooth does not have enough tooth structure to prevent it from fracturing, then Dr. Lukic may recommend a crown.
What to expect after
Your tooth may still feel sensitive after the procedure is complete but this should decrease over time. If swelling or pain increases, be sure to contact our office. Antibiotics may be prescribed before or after treatment or not at all. This will be determined by Dr. Lukic.
A follow-up visit will be needed and Dr. Lukic will let you know if you will need a crown after the procedure is completed. A crown may be needed depending on how much existing tooth structure is remaining and the brittleness of the tooth.
Please schedule an appointment today if you think you may need root canal therapy. Our friendly staff will answer any questions or concerns you may have.