Endodontics (Root canal therapy)
Anytime a tooth sustains injury do to decay or fracture there is always the possibility the tooth will need future Root Canal Therapy. When a patient is experiencing constant pain, often multiple symptoms such as hot, cold, and pressure it is likely the tooth has sustained an irreversible pulpitis and or a periapical abscess. An irreversible pulpitis is inflamed pulp or nerve tissue within a tooth often leading to a periapical abscess or a painful infection that occurs at the apex of the root.
What does the procedure entail?
The procedure will start with anesthetic to ensure a comfortable visit. Your doctor will work with an assistant to isolate your tooth using a dental dam to prevent contamination of the internal portion of the tooth. A high-speed drill will be used for a moment to open the biting surface of the tooth so the doctor can gain access to the internal area or pulp chamber. A series of small dental files will be used to remove the damaged, necrotic pulp tissue from within the tooth. Once the pulp has been completely removed, the canal will be thoroughly irrigated with a sterile cleansing agent and filled with a permanent material called gutta percha. Gutta percha is a rubber based filling material that will occupy the space where the pulp was. A soft, temporary material will be placed on the biting surface of the tooth and you will be required to return to see your general dentist for the next step, preparing the tooth for a crown.
What are the advantages?
Often the only other option once a tooth has had an irreversible pulpitis or periapical abscess is to extract or pull the tooth. This procedure will allow you to keep your own natural tooth for years to come. Root canal therapy will completely alleviate any pain you may have experienced in the tooth prior.
What are the disadvantages?
Once your tooth has sustained a root canal, it will then require a post, core, and crown preparation by your general dentist at a later visit often 2-3 weeks following root canal therapy.
Who is a candidate for this service?
A consultation, a radiograph, and conversation with your doctor will determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
There is no recovery time following this procedure, we just ask you do not attempt any heavy duty chewing until your anesthetic has completely worn off as there may be opportunity for tongue or tissue injury. Typically, the root canal therapy can be achieved with one visit, however, every circumstance is different and some may require multiple visits before it is complete. It varies from person to person and depends on the level of pain, infection, and how many roots are needing therapy. The cost of this procedure will depend on what tooth and how many canals will be treated, a treatment plan will be presented and reviewed prior to your visit. Typically, this procedure would be a covered service, however, each plan is different. You will have an opportunity to speak with an administrative specialist to determine your specific coverage.
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If you need more information about Root Canals or want to schedule an appointment