For dental patients who are experiencing severe tooth decay or other oral disease, a simple filling may not be sufficient to alleviate your pain. When infection strikes below the surface of the enamel it can quickly invade the canals below the gum line, found in the roots of your tooth. This can be painful as the infection begins to threaten nearby nerve endings. The good news is that Moberi Dental Specialists are highly trained in root canal procedures, also known as endodontic treatment.
Every licensed dentist should have received training in endodontic treatment while attending dental school. However, depending on his or her comfort level with root canal procedures, your general dentist may refer you to a dentist who specializes in endodontics for restoration of your tooth.
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in root canals and other endodontic procedures. Typically, this will mean that he or she completed additional training in endodontics after the completion of traditional dental school. In addition to root canals, these professionals are specially trained to diagnose and treat more complex dental issues than a general dentist.
Only your dentist can confirm your dental diagnosis and subsequent need for endodontic treatment. This is normally confirmed through the use of dental x-rays.
Endodontic treatment is typically required any time that the pulp or nerve inside your tooth has become infected. This can be caused by a number of conditions, the most common of which include advanced tooth decay or trauma to your teeth such as a crack, chip or other injury.
The need for a root canal is usually accompanied by intense pain, tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages, and swelling of the surrounding gum tissue. However, such symptoms do not accompany every dental condition that requires endodontic treatment.
First and foremost, your dentist or endodontist will numb your mouth, paying close attention to numbing the area immediately around your infected or damaged tooth. The anesthetic used to numb your mouth for a root canal is similar to the anesthetic used for less invasive procedures such as dental fillings. Once your mouth is completely numb, your dentist will drill into your tooth and remove all of the infected pulp and nerves found beneath the surface of your enamel. Depending on the severity and depth of your infection, the endodontist may have to cut through your gum tissue to reach the affected roots.
Once the pulp has been completely removed, your root canals will be sterilized and cleaned. Finally, the location where your dentist drilled into your tooth will be filled and sealed. You may also receive a crown to protect your tooth and restore its function.
Patients who are in need of endodontic treatment often come to our office already in extreme pain. A root canal is used to relieve the nerve inflammation and pain you are likely experiencing due to your infection. Your mouth will be numbed prior to the procedure and you should remain comfortable during your root canal.
You may experience swelling and some discomfort when chewing after your root canal is complete. However, your dentist will provide pain medication to help treat your infection and make you more comfortable.
You should not plan to eat or bite anything until after your affected tooth has been fitted for a crown or other protective restoration. Additionally, you may experience some swelling and discomfort at the procedure site, but be able to return to work, school or other normal activities the following day.
With proper at-home dental care and routine professional check-ups, your endodontic restoration should last for several years, perhaps a lifetime. Your dentist will keep a close eye on your restoration and notify you of any repairs that may be needed over time.
In very rare cases, your endodontic treatment may fail to properly heal which may require the procedure to be repeated, or for your entire tooth to be extracted.
The cost of your treatment can vary widely depending on which tooth or teeth are infected as well as the severity or depth of the infection. If you are concerned about the cost of your procedure, please discuss this with our office prior to undergoing treatment.