Root CanalsOur Services
Of all the treatments in dentistry, root canal treatment (endodontics) is probably the most misunderstood. Since our goal is to maintain your natural teeth for as long as possible, root canal treatment is an important part of what we do. Using modern procedures and techniques, it’s usually not nearly as bad as you might think.
Why Are Root Canal Treatments Necessary?
Root canal treatment may become necessary due to several reasons. Some of the most common reasons are dental decay that progresses deep within the tooth, a cracked tooth, or nerve damage to a tooth caused by trauma or extensive previous dental work. When these problems occur, they sometimes lead to an infection that invades the middle of the tooth, or the pulp. The tooth pulp is made up of blood vessels and nerves that reside under the protective enamel and dentin. When the pulp becomes infected, it is often accompanied by severe pain, and sometimes swelling. At this point, the only options to treat the problem are root canal treatment or tooth extraction.
What Is a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment allows for elimination of the infection, and most importantly it allows you to keep your natural tooth! When a root canal treatment is done, the infected pulp inside the tooth is gently removed, and the root canals are then cleaned, sealed and filled in with a special filling material. Of course, we ensure that your tooth is completely numb before and during the procedure, so that you don’t feel any pain. Keeping you pain free is recognized as one of the most important aspects of endodontics and will always be a prime concern. Many times, a referral to a specialist called an endodontist is made when root canal treatment is necessary. Endodontists are experts in performing root canal treatments, having had residency training after dental school in this field.
What Happens After a Root Canal Treatment?
Teeth that have had a successful root canal treatment are initially filled with a temporary filling. Within a short amount of time, the tooth will need a final restoration – either a filling or a crown. Most back teeth require a crown after root canal treatment to seal and protect them for the long term. Sometimes, front teeth can be sealed and restored with only a filling. Dr. Waters will go over your options and let you know what to expect.
Waters Family Dentistry will always strive to educate you and guide your decision making in these difficult situations. Please remember that the best way to avoid root canal treatment is to come to the dentist for regular cleanings and exams, so that we can catch and treat cavities and cracks sooner rather than later!