Root Canal Therapy

Root canal belongs to the category of endodontic treatments, that is, treatments which target the insides of your tooth. A root canal treatment may be recommended for those who have a seriously decayed or damaged tooth or a critical tooth infection. A root canal is helpful in repairing and saving the tooth and prevents the need for extraction.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal belongs to the category of endodontic treatments, that is, treatments which target the insides of your tooth. A root canal treatment may be recommended for those who have a seriously decayed or damaged tooth or a critical tooth infection. A root canal is helpful in repairing and saving the tooth and prevents the need for extraction.

What is a root canal?

At All Dental Tampa, Florida, our dentists have helped many patients restore their teeth to healthy state, and they specialize in performing the most expert root canal Tampa has to offer. This therapy is needed when the tooth pulp, comprising blood vessels and nerves, becomes damaged or infected. The root canal treatment involves the removal of the pulp. This is followed by the cleaning and sealing of the tooth interiors.

Many people are scared of root canals simply because they are assumed to be painful. In reality, most patients experience greater discomfort before the actual procedure, and not during the treatment.

When is a root canal needed?

During your initial consultation with the dentist, they will do a comprehensive assessment of your mouth and conclude whether or not you need a root canal treatment. Generally speaking, a pulp infection will require root canal treatment as it cannot be addressed by procedures such as filling. The tooth pulp, comprising the nerves and blood vessels, supplies nourishment to your tooth.

There are multiple reasons why the pulp may become infected. These include:

  • Frequent dental procedures which disturb the tissue
  • Deep cavity
  • A tooth injury (might not necessarily be a visible chip or crack)
  • A fractured or cracked tooth

Signs of a serious tooth infection

When the tissues surrounding your tooth are left untreated, they are likely to become infected. This infection typically leads to swelling, pain and/or discomfort as an abscess is formed in the interiors of the tooth (or inside the bone at the root). Infections can also increase the risk of tooth loss since bacteria may destroy the bone completely.

Some of the common signs indicating the need for a root canal treatment include pain, tenderness, high sensitivity to cold or heat, tooth discoloration, drainage, swelling and inflammation of the gums, surrounding bone and/or lymph nodes. In some cases, no symptoms might be experienced.

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What happens during a root canal treatment?

The goal of the root canal treatment is to remove the infected or inflamed pulp and clean and shape the interiors of your root canal. The final step is to fill the space and seal it. Once this procedure is completed, your dentist will place some form of restoration, such as a crown, on top of the tooth so that it can be restored to its normal function.

The total time taken for the procedure is about two dental visits. The dentist will prepare for the procedure by taking an x-ray of your tooth as well as the nearby bone. You will experience mild or no pain during the procedure since local anesthesia will be administered to numb the targeted area. Once the tooth has been numbed, the dentist may place a small rubber sheet (dental dam) for isolating the targeted tooth so that it remains dry and clean during the root canal procedure.

After this, the dentist will proceed to create a small opening in your tooth and will remove the nerve inside your tooth as well as in the surrounding root (or the root canal). This is followed by the cleaning of the tooth interiors and the root canal. Once cleaned, the dentist will use a rubber-like substance (gutta-percha) to do the filling of the root canals and will seal them to avoid future infection or damage. A provisional filling is usually placed on the treated tooth for protection until a permanent restoration solution such as a crown or filling can be placed by the dentist.

The purpose of this temporary filling is to keep contaminants out between appointments. Once the root canal treatment is completed, your tooth might feel sensitive for a couple of days. This is particularly true for patients who come with an infected tooth.  It is possible to relieve this discomfort with some prescription or over-the-counter medications. It is vital to follow the instructions of your dentist carefully after the root canal procedure.

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What happens after the root canal treatment?

The treated tooth usually feels a little different from the other teeth, at least for a short period of time, following the root canal treatment. But this is absolutely normal. However, it is crucial to contact your dentist if you experience severe pressure or pain in the tooth or if the pain lasts for a couple of days.

Until the root canal treatment is absolutely completed (that is, the permanent filling or restoration is placed), it is best to keep chewing with the repaired tooth to a minimum. This is important as it will prevent re-contamination of the tooth and might also save the recovering tooth from getting chipped before it is fully restored.

It is recommended that a proper oral health routine is maintained, that is, brushing and flossing, and meeting the dentist at the scheduled intervals to review the treatment and progress. Good aftercare will ensure that your repaired tooth lasts for a lifetime.

Cost considerations

The cost of a root canal treatment is highly variable and depends on the severity of the problem, that is, the extent to which your tooth is damaged. Molars are typically the most difficult teeth to treat and hence require greater investment. The good news is that almost every dental insurance policy provides at least some amount of coverage for a root canal treatment.

Generally speaking, restoring a natural tooth and endodontic treatment are less costly as compared to tooth extraction procedures. As an estimate, the price of a root canal treatment for incisors tends to be cheaper than root canal treatment for molars. The success rate of root canal treatments is reported to be over 95 percent. Coming in for a consultation will determine the exact course of treatment needed.

Call us at All Dental Tampa if you wish to know more about endodontic treatments or want to book an appointment for the most expert root canal Tampa has available.

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