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Endodontics / Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is essential for people who have infection of the dental pulp. Dental pulp is the soft interior part of a tooth that contains the nerves and provides teeth with nutrients. If the dental pulp is damaged or becomes infected, the root nerve of the tooth can die. If left untreated, the tooth will also die and need to be removed. Painful abscesses may also form if the damaged pulp is not properly treated, so while you may not be excited to hear you need a root canal, this therapy saves teeth from further damage and restores your dental health. That's a weight off your mind!

During endodontic treatment, your dentist will access the tooth's pulp chamber so that the damaged pulp may be removed. Anesthesia administered before this procedure ensures that a patient experiences little, if any, discomfort during treatment. We may also medicate the pulp chamber and root canal to prevent further infection. Once the infection has been eradicated, your dentist will permanently seal the treated tooth with a custom dental crown. Depending on the extent of the damage to the tooth, root canal therapy may take more than one office visit.

More About Endodontic Therapy Also Named Root Canal Therapy

Our dentists at LCZ Dentistry are well trained in endodontics. As mentioned above, endodontics therapy removes pulp that has become infected from a tooth’s center. The space once occupied by the pulp is reshaped and then replaced with a filler to impart strength to the tooth.

The pulp inside a tooth delivers nutrients to it. The pulp consists of nerve fibers and blood vessels. Tooth decay can cause damage to a tooth’s surface, but if the cavity increases in size the decay may enter the pulp, resulting in irrevocable damage. When this occurs, we must utilize and endodontic procedure to remove the pulp. With this process, a tooth may be salvaged, as opposed to having to pull it out.

Steps In The Endodontic Procedure:

  • Local anesthesia is given to the client
  • Infected pulp is removed via an access whole created in the tooth
  • The entire tooth including the canal is cleaned
  • Customized tools are used to reshape the interior canal
  • The canal is filled with a specialized filling material
  • The original access whole is filled
  • A long-term restoration, such as a crown is placed/li>

More Details On Endodontics

An endodontic or root canal treatment is a procedure that removes an infection from the center of a tooth. It also protects the tooth from getting infections in the future. The process is done on pulp in the tooth’s center, which is also known as the root canal.
 

What’s A Root Canal?

The root canal is really the name of an anatomical portion of the tooth that is in its interior. For the most part, it is composed of blood vessels and the nerves which supply the tooth. In dental lingo, the name of this procedure is called an endodontic procedure or endodontic therapy.
 

Root Canal Therapy

What’s An Endodontic Procedure?

This procedure is used to remove the pulp or tissue from the interior of the tooth, known as the root canal. The space that is left, once the pulp has been removed, is cleaned, shaped, and sanitized with an irrigation solution. Small files are used to shape the interior. The root canal is then filled with a custom material that seals it.

After the procedure, the infection has been removed and the tooth is no longer supplied by nerves and blood vessels, consequently the tooth will no longer have any sensation, such as pain. After endodontic therapy, the tooth must be protected with a filling or a crown.
 

Is This A Painful Procedure?

Many of our patients are fearful that an endodontic procedure will be quite painful. However, our experienced dentists are able to conduct this treatment with very little pain.

The perception of pain is caused by the infected pulp inside of the tooth, not the treatment. Endodontic treatment will get rid of this pain once and for all.

It most cases a local anesthetic is injected into the region that encapsulates the tooth to stop the pain that may otherwise be experienced during the procedure.

After the procedure, some pain may be present. This pain is temporary in nature and is normally relieved by a readily available med such as Motrin or Naproxen. If you need it, your dentist can provide you with a prescription analgesic. You may also be given an antibiotic to ensure an infection does not develop.
 

What Is The Composition Of A Tooth?

A tooth is comprised of the crown, which is above the gum line and the roots which are beneath it. The roots attach to your jaw bone.

The interior of the tooth, which is called the root canal, contains the pulp. Pulp is soft and is host to the nerves, which cause sensation in the tooth, such as pain, pressure, and temperature, and blood vessels, which supply it with nutrients.

The outer portion of the tooth above the gum line (crown) has an enamel coating. Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body with the highest percentage of minerals (96%).

Dentin supports the enamel. Dentin has a yellow hew and has an effect on the tooth’s coloration. Although it is not as hard as enamel, dentin is less brittle.
 

When Is Endodontic Therapy Needed?

When the pulp within the tooth’s interior gets infected, or injured, it cannot heal itself. If the tooth gets cracked, has a deep cavity, or a filling loosens it is possible for bacteria to get into the pulp. This causes an infection that has the potential to result in the destruction of the pulp. Additionally, the bacteria can spread from the root of the tooth to the jaw bone it is attached to and cause it to be infected as well.

This infectious process will weaken the attachment of the tooth to the jaw bone. The attaching ligaments will swell and the tooth will loosen.

This pulp infection will make the tooth quite sensitive to changes in temperature. Quite often, the act of chewing will be painful. Occasionally the tooth will cause a chronic pain.
 

Extraction or Root Canal?

If the infected tooth is not treated, there is a high likelihood that the infection will spread. The tooth will them become loose and need to be extracted.

Sometimes, a client would rather have a tooth pulled, especially in instances when the pain is very great or it is not feasible to restore the tooth. Sometimes this happens when the tooth has been traumatized by a blunt force, the jaw bone has weakened (osteoporosis) or gum disease is present.

However, when a tooth is pulled it can have an adverse effect upon the teeth around it. Nearby teeth can become displaced. Therefore, it is better to have an endodontic procedure whenever it is feasible in order to save the tooth and adjacent teeth as well. In instances when a tooth cannot be saved with endodontic therapy, a dental implant could be the best solution.
 

What Are The Steps In This Procedure?

Endodontic therapy is performed by dentist who is a specialist in this procedure.

As part of the first visit the dentist makes a small access hole in the tooth after giving the patient a local anesthetic. The pulp will then be extracted with our custom dental tools.

There is then a process to disinfect the root canal. After disinfection the root canal is filled with an advanced filling material that is biocompatible.

Most of the time the entire procedure will be finished in one visit. Nevertheless, in some unusual circumstances involving a severe infection or a root canal that is misshapen, another visit may be required.
 

Protecting The Tooth With A Crown Or Filling

Once the endodontic treatment is complete, the tooth it was performed on will not be as strong as a normal healthy tooth. The only nourishment the tooth receives will be via a ligament with an attachment to the jaw.

Since the tooth has no pulp, it will become more and more brittle in time. This is the reason a crown or filling is needed to prevent the tooth from cracking. It is best to avoid chewing using this tooth until the tooth has received this protection.

Check Out This Short Video Describing The Producdure