If your tooth is infected, root canal therapy can save it and prevent the need for extraction. An infection can be painful and cause a great deal of discomfort. This pain can lead people to avoid the dentist for fear of the treatment causing additional anguish. If you are in this situation, rest at ease. Receiving dental care will help you to feel better right away. We can ensure that you are comfortable while we treat your tooth.
Why root canals are necessary
When the center of the tooth (dental pulp) becomes infected, it cannot be treated without removing the center of the tooth or root canal. In order to do so, root canal therapy becomes necessary. In some cases, the dental pulp is the only thing that is infected. While, in other situations, the root is infected as well.
What the procedure is like
When a patient comes in with a toothache, we will begin by examining the tooth., During the examination, we will determine if the patient has a simple cavity that requires treatment. If so, we can simply remove the decayed portion of the tooth and use a filling to restore the tooth structure. However, if the center of the tooth is infected, we will need to take X-rays to determine the full extent of the problem before starting the procedure. When ready, we will numb the area and provide the patient with medication so one does not experience any discomfort during the root canal procedure.
To begin, we will create a small hole in the tooth to access the interior. We will carefully and gently pull out the infected pulp and roots before cleaning the tooth to remove any lingering infection. When necessary, we will also prescribe antibiotics. While it may sound strange, once the tooth is fully mature, the pulp and roots are not necessary for keeping the tooth alive. Removing the pulp will not hinder the longevity or stability of the actual tooth. The only thing root canal therapy will do is allow the tooth to remain in place and become healthy again.
You will be able to continue using your tooth
Once we have removed all of the infection, we will need to seal up the tooth with a rubber-like substance. If the hole was small and the infection minor, we might be able to use a dental filling as our final restoration. Otherwise, a dental crown is often necessary to complete the process. A crown can be created out of all-ceramic or ceramic-on-metal so it blends in with the surrounding tooth structure. This way, one can be confident that his or her smile restoration will look beautiful and natural when we are done.
If you have a toothache and have not yet visited our Santa Ana office, we encourage you to do so. It is important to remove the infection and restore the tooth right away so it does not have the opportunity to spread and create additional problems. Call our office today at (714) 541-0837.
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