It happened. Your dentist mentioned a root canal procedure. The phrase “root canal” brings about negativity due to the many misconceptions about the treatment. However, despite the myths and misconceptions, a root canal relieves the pain and inflammation of infection. Dr. Ryan Lepore in Dunedin, FL, works with specialists in root canal therapy to treat and save natural teeth.
Reasons for root canal procedures
An infected or badly decayed tooth is often a reason for a root canal. Tooth pain or sensitivity may just be the first sign of the problem. Causes of infections include severe decay, a chip or break in the tooth, or tooth trauma. Trauma and severe decay may cause damage to the pulp of the tooth. The dental pulp contains blood supply and nerves. When the pulp is infected, it causes extreme pain and sensitivity in and around that tooth.
An infected tooth must be treated in a timely fashion. This keeps bacteria from spreading throughout not just the oral cavity, but also your entire body. The latest research shows that the same infectious bacteria that cause the need for a root canal can travel throughout the body. These bacteria can significantly increase your heart attack and stroke risk, even without a preexisting condition. A root canal is often the recommended treatment to preserve the health of your tooth, mouth and body. If the infection is allowed to spread, more severe treatment measures may be needed.
Root canal treatment expectations
First and foremost, if you are experiencing tooth pain or symptoms of an infection, contact your dentist immediately. An examination of your teeth, gums, and oral cavity are necessary to determine the actual problem and the extent of the infection. X-rays may be done to show the extent and location of the damage. If necessary, you may be referred to an endodontist, a specialist in root canal therapy.
For the actual procedure, the treatment area is numbed using a local anesthetics to ensure patient comfort. Once the tooth is numb, the specialist uses specific tools to enter the tooth. The bacteria and infected pulp tissue are removed before the canals are thoroughly sterilized. Fully removing the infected material and sterilizing the tooth is necessary to ensure the health of the mouth and body.
After sterilizing the tooth, the specialist fills it with a special endodontic material called gutta-percha. This rubber-like material fills and seals the tooth preventing contamination. Once the tooth has been sealed, a crown can be placed to protect and restore it. The natural tooth is saved. The root remains in place stimulating and preserving the health of the jawbone.
Benefits of root canal therapy
If your dentist recommends a root canal treatment, rest assured that it is a safe, precise procedure. The benefits of root canal therapy speak for themselves.
- Effective – Bacteria is destroyed as the canal is effectively sterilized. The mouth is free of the damaging infection.
- Restorative – Without the infected material, the health of the oral cavity and the whole body is restored.
- Painless – Using a local anesthetic can make the procedure as painless as having a cavity filled. The procedure itself relieves the pain and inflammation caused by the infection.
- Long-lasting – With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, the results of a root canal are long-lasting.
For more information on root canal procedures, contact Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry in Dunedin, FL. Call (727) 608-4690 to schedule an appointment.
Back to Root Canal Page