Inside the tooth beyond what we can see there is a soft tissue called the pulp. It stretches from the crown of the tooth down to the end of the roots where it connects to the tissues around the root. The consists of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that help nourish the tooth during growth and development. However, once a tooth has matured, the role of the pulp is diminished as the tooth can continue to get nourishment from other surrounding tissues.
The dentist near you will often recommend a root canal treatment after discovering that the pulp has become inflamed or infected. There are a number of things that can cause this to happen which include severe tooth decay, cracks or chips on the tooth and having repeated dental procedures such as dental fillings on a tooth. You should get root canal treatment near you as soon as you learn that the pulp is damaged. Leaving it untreated can cause you a lot of pain and worse still, can develop into an abscess, a potentially fatal infection that can spread to other parts of the body.
If you have a deep cavity, loose filling or a cracked tooth, bacteria from the mouth can find its way to the pulp. Once inside, the bacteria begins destroys the pulp’s ability to repair itself. The tissues begin to die and if there is no intervention, the bacteria further spreads through the roots and infects the surrounding bone. The bone will start to weaken and stop to regenerate itself, causing the ligaments around the tooth to swell and the tooth to become loose. This creates the need to extract the tooth which not only affects the appearance of your smile but may also interfere with your bite and alignment.
Getting a root canal therefore helps you save your natural tooth. It also relieves other symptoms associated with a pulp infection such as tooth sensitivity, tooth pain and tender gums.
Generally, root canal treatment follows three main steps that can be achieved between one and three dental appointments. During your initial consultation with Dr. Ravi Soni and our dental office in Clearwater, you will be briefed on the number of sessions to expect and what will be achieved in each. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and a series of X-rays are necessary before the procedure, to allow the dentist get a good picture of the extent of damage. Here is what to expect;
A dam is created around the tooth using a rubber sheet to keep it dry and prevent you from swallowing or breathing in any chemicals used by the dentist. The dentist will then access the pulp by making a small hole on the crown of the tooth. Using special tools, all the infected pulp is then removed. If you have an abscess, it will be drained at this point too.
Once the pulp is removed, the next step is to clean and disinfect the canal. Afterwards the space is filled with a biocompatible material called gutta percha. Since the root canals are usually very narrow, it may be necessary to slightly enlarge and shape them so that the filling material sits in correctly. When you dentist is certain the tooth has been properly filled, an adhesive dental type of cement is used to completely seal the canals. This is to ensure there is no room for bacteria to enter and re-contaminate the canal again. At this point you may get a temporary crown and be sent home with some antibiotics and painkillers to help with healing.
In the final step of a root canal treatment is getting a dental crown over the treated tooth for extra strength and stability. You can get a crown on the same day you had the root canal or come back later to have it fitted.
To get more information on root canal treatment, you are welcome to visit Soni Smiles in Clearwater. You can also book an appointment through our website or contact us to find out how we can assist.