Non-Surgical Root Canal Therapy
As one of the most common dental procedures we perform here at Mountain Shadows Family Dental, root canals also come with a lot of negative perceptions. Though a root canal can seem intimidating, it is actually a relatively simple treatment that can save a person’s natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. And at our office, we offer root canals without the need for intrusive surgery. If you’re experiencing a severe toothache, prolonged tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, darkening of the tooth, and swelling or tenderness, you may need to visit us to see if your tooth’s pulp, or nerve, has been compromised. Learn more about our non-surgical root canals and how this minimally-invasive treatment can rectify further pain or infection.
Causes & Signs for a Root Canal Treatment
At the center of your tooth is pulp, which can be described as a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. A root canal is needed when this pulp becomes exposed to bacteria through trauma to the tooth, deep decay, or cracks and chips. As a result, the tooth and the surrounding area will likely become irreversibly inflamed and damaged. To save your tooth, Dr. Garrett will need to go in and remove the compromised nerve so that you can be free of all pain and sensitivity. There are many signs of the infected or damaged tooth pulp, and if you experience any of them, you should come to Mountain Shadows Family Dental so that we can verify whether you need a root canal. The most common signs are severe tooth or jaw pain that you can’t relieve. You might also have prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks that don’t go away after you’ve removed the stimulus. Other symptoms include pain and swelling of the gums around the tooth, and the tooth may change color.
Why Does the Pulp Need to Be Removed?
The problem that leads to a root canal is usually an infection in the tooth pulp, which includes blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissues. Dental trauma or tooth decay may allow bacteria to penetrate the tooth’s hard outer layers and work its way into the tooth pulp, which results in an infection. The pulp must be removed because leaving an infected tooth untreated can lead to more significant dental problems, such as an abscess or infection in the gum or bone surrounding your teeth. After removing the infected pulp and cleaning out and filling the chamber and root canals, your risk of further infection is typically eliminated.
What Is the Root Canal Procedure?
A non-surgical root canal is no more painful than getting a filling, and the dentist uses an anesthetic to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. The steps of a root canal are as follows:
- We x-ray the tooth to get a precise layout of the root canals.
- The dentist drills a small hole through your tooth to access the inner chamber, and then they use files to scrape the infected pulp from inside.
- Water or sodium hypochlorite (dilute bleach) gets rinsed through the hole to remove any evidence of infection.
- After we’ve cleaned out the canals thoroughly, we fill them with gutta-percha (a rubber-like material) and seal the tooth with composite material.
In cases where the tooth structure is badly damaged from decay, we may place small metal posts in the canal and build up the tooth’s natural form. After that, we’ll place a temporary crown and prepare a permanent crown to go over the tooth.
What to Expect After a Root Canal Procedure
After a root canal procedure, you can return to your normal routine almost immediately. The tooth we treated might feel a little different for the next few days. And while the pain you felt before getting a root canal has been resolved, you may experience some discomfort. You can easily manage any discomfort with over-the-counter medication. Your sensitivity to hot and cold will be gone, as well. If you experience any sensitivity or pain that’s worse than what we’ve described, contact us immediately, as it may be a sign of further infection. However, root canal treatment is usually very successful, with good outcomes in 95% of the cases.
The Difference Between Surgical & Non-Surgical Root Canals
The main differences between surgical and non-surgical root canals are the technique the doctor uses and the nature of the treatment. A non-surgical root canal is the most common method of treating an infected tooth, but if that fails or isn’t enough, a surgical root canal is the next step to saving the tooth. During a surgical root canal, tiny fractures and hidden canals can be identified that weren’t detected by the initial x-rays. The surgical method can also treat damaged root canals, the bone around your tooth, and remove calcium deposited in the canals.
Other Dental Services at Mountain Shadows Family Dental
Patients in Buckeye, AZ are welcome to receive a variety of dental treatments at Mountain Shadows Family Dental. We also offer fillings, restorations, tooth extractions, dental implants, sealants, and other services to restore and maintain your oral health. If your smile needs a boost in its appearance, our cosmetic treatments include teeth whitening, veneers, and Invisalign®. You and your family can keep your teeth clean and healthy with general dental care, such as cleanings and oral exams. We strive to offer comprehensive dental care to ensure your smile stays beautiful and pain-free. Give us a call today with any questions or to schedule an appointment with our fantastic dental team.