Root Canals (Endodontics)
At Harborn Dental, every step is taken to make patients feel comfortable and help them understand exactly what a root canal is and what is involved. Modern day technology, materials and medications make root canals a comfortable procedure.
Signs / Symptoms
- Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods
- Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth
- Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
- Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night
- A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
- Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another
Why do I need a root canal?
Most common reasons you may need a root canal:
- A deep cavity that extends into the nerve.
- A trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve
- A crack in the tooth that extends into the nerve of the tooth.
Root Canal Process
The first step of the procedure is to anesthetize the affected area. The next step is to open an access point through the top, or biting surface of the tooth. We will then determine a working length of each canal. Each canal is then prepared for the administration of the filling material. Once each canal is fully prepared, it is filled with an inert material called gutta percha and then sealed. The tooth is now ready for a restoration, which is usually a crown. It usually takes two visits to complete the restoration procedure.
After the Procedure
Patients typically return to their normal activities the next day following a root canal procedure. Inflammation may cause some discomfort for a few days. This can usually be controlled with the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Patients are advised to minimize chewing on a temporary filling to reduce the chance of recontamination or damage to fragile tooth material. Once the tooth is sealed and the permanent filling or crown placed, patients may return to normal, confident use of the tooth. The procedure has long-term success rates near 97%.
A consistent program of proper at-home hygiene and regularly scheduled professional exams and cleanings can help control the presence and extent of tooth decay, thereby reducing your chances of developing a root canal problem.