A root canal or endodontic therapy saves a severely injured, cracked, or decayed tooth when its pulp (the soft inner tissue inside a tooth’s root canal) becomes inflamed or infected. If it is not treated promptly, pain or a tooth abscess (infection) results.
Root canal treatment is completed in one or two office visits, depending on the presence of infection and the required treatment plan. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth. With good oral hygiene, the restored tooth has the potential to last a lifetime.
See your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Tooth or gum pain, discoloration, or prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- A tooth that is tender when it is touched
- A tooth abscess (pus enclosed in the tissues of the jawbone at the tip of an infected tooth)
- Pus drainage in your mouth
- Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes under your jaw
Sometimes an endodontic problem can exist without warning signs. In these cases, a Digital X-ray taken during a routine dental checkup will reveal the tooth damage.
After reviewing a Digital X-ray of your tooth, Dr Nawiesniak will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure, recommend a treatment plan, discuss it with you, and answer your questions. If a root canal is needed Dr Nawiesniak will either perform the procedure himself or refer you to an specialist called an endodontist where:
- A local anesthetic is applied to the affected tooth and surrounding area
- A small, protective sheet called a “dental dam” is used to isolate the tooth to keep it clean and free of saliva during your procedure
- An opening is made in the top of the tooth and the endodontist will remove the soft pulp and nerve and then shape the interior for filling
- The root canal is cleaned, medicated, and filled with a rubber-like biocompatible material (gutta percha)
- A temporary filling is placed pending your return to Patriot Dental.
- Dr Nawiesniak will then place a permanent restoration, such as a crown, to protect the tooth
We will work with each patient individually to discuss the details of your treatment and any possible alternatives. Our top priority is to provide you with the highest standard of care.