Diagnosing and Treating Root Canals

When dental problems are allowed to become severe, a tooth may require extensive repairs, including a root canal treatment. This is a common procedure that will save a tooth from being pulled or causing more pain. Here is a closer look at the root canal procedure.

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

When the pulp, or soft tissue inside of a tooth, becomes inflamed, you will be in a great deal of pain. This area is filled with sensitive nerves and blood vessels. The American Dental Association explains that infection often begins from a deep cavity, a repeated dental procedure, or an injury to a tooth.

Diagnosing a Root Canal

Many times, patients schedule a dental visit for persistent toothaches. A dentist will perform visual exams, take X-rays, and complete thermal tests. These will help to determine how much damage a tooth has incurred. When extreme damage is present, a root canal may be recommended.

What is Involved with a Root Canal Procedure?

After a dentist determines that a root canal procedure must be performed, it is helpful to understand what the treatment entails. After examining an X-ray, a dentist will determine the shape of the tooth’s root, and the area will be numbed. A hole will be drilled, and the pulp will be removed. This ensures that future pain, swelling, and other problems will not occur.

The entire length of the tooth is scraped throughout the root canals. After the cleaning is finished, the tooth is sealed. If an infection is present, a medicine may be placed inside. A temporary filling may be set in place until the next appointment.

After the permanent filling is completed, further tooth restoration may be necessary. Since the tooth may have extensive damage, it may be extra weak. This means that a crown may be necessary. This will be placed over the tooth to keep it from breaking.

Even though people fear pain, this procedure is no more uncomfortable than a routine filling. For a few days following a root canal, a patient may experience slight sensitivity. However, this should subside within a few days.

For more information about the root canal procedure, contact the office of Dr. Dana Walters. He has performed this treatment on numerous patients, and he is ready to help you retain a beautiful smile.