The discomfort caused by an infected or abscessed tooth can be severe. When a damaged or infected tooth cannot be saved, root canal treatment may be a favorable option over extraction.
A root canal is a type of endodontic treatment in which the inflamed or infected pulp of a tooth is removed, cleaned, disinfected, and filled to restore function and appearance. According to a report by the European Journal of Dentistry, root canal treatment is a fairly straightforward procedure with a success rate of between 86 and 98 percent.
Before undergoing a root canal, it’s important to understand what the procedure entails and what to expect after treatment.
Why Root Canals are Performed
When possible, local dentists prefer to save natural teeth over extractions. Root canal treatment is an effective way to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. Your dentist in Clermont may recommend this procedure to patients who are experiencing:
- Persistent dental pain
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold stimuli
- Discoloration of a tooth due to damage to the tooth root
- Swollen gums around a painful tooth
- Pain in a tooth while eating
- Cracked or chipped tooth caused by an accident
- Loose tooth due to the death of nerves in the tooth
Root Canal Procedure Explained
Root canal treatment involves several important steps designed to eliminate infection and restore the tooth. These steps include:
1. Preparing the Area
First, the dentist will numb the area to make treatment more comfortable for the patient. Once the mouth is numbed, a dental dam is placed to isolate the tooth and prevent debris from falling into the mouth.
2. Cleaning the Tooth Roots
Next, the dentist will create an access hole in the tooth by drilling into the top of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber and root canals. An antiseptic and antibacterial solution is inserted to clean and disinfect the canals. This solution removes harmful bacteria and helps treat infection.
3. Reshaping the Canals
Once the tooth roots have been thoroughly cleaned, the canals are shaped using tiny instruments. Achieving an optimal shape is critical to allow the tooth to be properly filled. Once the canals have been shaped, they are cleaned for a second time.
4. Filling the Canals and Access Hole
A material known as gutta-percha is used to fill the canals. This rubber-like substance is placed inside the canals, heated, and compressed to ensure it’s well compacted against the canal walls. Adhesive cement is then applied to seal the canal and keep bacteria out. The hole created to access the canals is also sealed.
5. Applying a Crown
If the tooth that received a root canal was severely damaged or is a back tooth, a crown is generally recommended to add strength and stability. Permanent crowns can be custom-fabricated to match the look and color of the patient’s existing teeth. Once a crown is placed, the tooth can once again withstand normal chewing forces.
What to Expect After a Root Canal
When recovering from a root canal, it’s normal to experience some soreness and sensitivity for several days. Your gums may also be irritated and feel similar to the aftermath of a tooth filling. Your Clermont dentist may prescribe antibiotics to clear up any lingering infection you may have and may recommend pain medication to prevent discomfort.
After root canal treatment, follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist to avoid complications and speed up healing. Your dentist may recommend consuming soft foods in the days following the procedure. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any signs of recurring infection, such as swelling, redness, or unusual pain. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your dentist in Clermont FL for guidance.
Contact Hancock Village Dental
Root canal treatment is a commonly performed procedure that can relieve dental pain and save a significantly damaged or infected tooth. If you suspect that you need a root canal, trust the professionals at Hancock Village Dental to provide you with a reliable diagnosis and treatment plan. Call our Clermont family dentistry practice today at 352-989-5815 to schedule an appointment.