Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the study and treatment of the dental pulp. The dental pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues and helps to grow the root of the tooth during development.
Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can be caused by deep decay, trauma from dental procedures, cracks or chips in the tooth, or general trauma. Root canal therapy involves removing the pulp inside the pulp chamber and then replacing it with a rubber-type material called gutta percha to fill the empty space and keep infection from returning. The tooth is able to survive after the pulp is removed because it is nourished by the surrounding tissues.
When Is a Root Canal Treatment Needed?
When decay and infection cause damage to the nerve and pulp of a tooth, a root canal treatment is performed. Common symptoms that indicate a possible need for root canal treatment are:
- Consistent pain (may include throbbing) in the tooth area
- Pain caused by the pressure of chewing or as an extended reaction to contact with hot and cold temperatures
- Tender, swollen gums
- The appearance of a pimple on the gums
What Is a Root Canal Treatment?
During a root canal, either Drs. Pincus, Dr. Sayek, or Dr. Dad gently removes your tooth’s damaged tissue and nerves, then carefully cleans and seals the tooth to protect it from bacteria. The procedure may require more than one visit, depending on the severity of the infection and the type of restoration — typically a filling or a crown — that is needed.
What Can I Expect My Root Canal Recovery to Be Like?
You will experience instant pain relief after your root canal treatment. During your root canal recovery, chewing on the affected side of the mouth should be avoided until the filling or final restoration is completed. Your tooth may be sensitive for a couple of days following the procedures. Any discomfort you experience can be easily managed through the use of over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen. Your oral health routine should continue as usual and should include brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
The root canal treatment has a success rate of 95% and can last a lifetime.
A crown restoration is indicated for most endodontically treated teeth because a tooth becomes brittle once the pulp is removed. Root canal therapy is very successful (often reported up to 97%). Many people have fear of root canal therapy, but should not. Most horror stories of pain and swelling are due to the need and cause of root canal treatment, not the root canal treatment itself. Root canal therapy is very comfortable with local anesthetic, it removes the pain, and it heals the tooth. It should be viewed as a cure rather than as something to dread.
Parkhaven Dental Care is always available to help with emergencies and pain removal. Root canals are performed in our office, and we also work with very talented endodontists (root canal specialists) in our area when indicated.