Root Canal Treatment
If you’re experiencing severe tooth damage, decay, or a painful tooth infection (abscess), a root canal treatment may be the solution recommended by your dentist. Root canals are an effective way to save and repair your damaged tooth, avoiding the need for extraction.
What’s Involved in Root Canal Repair?
Inside your tooth, there is soft tissue called pulp that houses nerves, blood vessels, and provides nourishment to the tooth. When this tissue gets infected due to a deep cavity, repeated dental procedures, tooth cracks or fractures, or injuries, it can lead to pain, swelling, and potentially an abscess. Without proper treatment, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and bones, risking the loss of the affected tooth.
Is Root Canal Treatment Done During a Regular Check-up?
A root canal treatment typically requires 1 or 2 office visits to complete. You may need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist or be referred to an endodontist, a specialist who focuses on the pulp and tissues surrounding teeth.
What to Expect During the Root Canal Procedure?
Root canal treatment is virtually painless, as your dentist will use local anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the procedure. Before starting the treatment, your dentist will take X-rays to assess the condition of your tooth and the surrounding bone. A thin sheet of latex rubber will be placed over your tooth to keep it dry, clean, and protected from harmful bacteria and viruses found in the mouth.
During the Treatment, Your Dentist Will:
- Create an opening in the top of your tooth.
- Remove the infected pulp from inside the tooth and the root canals.
- Thoroughly clean the tooth’s interior and each root canal, often using germ-killing medicine.
- Seal the root canals with a rubber-like material to prevent future infection.
- Place a temporary filling on the tooth to safeguard it until a definitive restoration like a permanent filling or crown can be placed.
After Root Canal Treatment:
- Your tooth and the surrounding area may feel sensitive for a few days. Your dentist can advise you on how to alleviate any discomfort.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed if the infection has spread. Follow the instructions provided and contact your dentist if you encounter any issues with the medication.
A follow-up visit is necessary after the root canal treatment. During this appointment, the temporary filling will be replaced with a regular filling or crown to protect your tooth from further damage. Additionally, a metal or plastic post may be inserted into the root canal to support the filling materials and prepare for a crown if needed.
How Long Will a Root Canal Filling Last?
With proper care, a root canal-treated tooth can last a lifetime. Maintain good oral hygiene practices by brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups to ensure your teeth remain strong and healthy. Trust in root canal treatment to restore your oral health and preserve your natural smile.
Main Street Dental
1200 Main Street - La Crosse, WI 54601