What is a root canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of nerves and blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury, swelling of the gums surrounding the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
How is a root canal performed?
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical root canal treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.
What happens after treatment?
Drs. Creekmore and Larkin will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. After a tooth has had root canal therapy, it will need a permanent filling and a crown to protect the tooth from breakage. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.