If you have an infected or severely damaged tooth, root canal therapy could be recommended as a treatment option to help you stop the discomfort and help improve your oral health. At Glenpool Dentistry, we pride ourselves on delivering the best in patient comfort while providing high-quality dentistry at all times.
A root canal often presents as a good option that can help prevent the need to perform a tooth extraction. We use modern dental technologies and procedures to ensure your complete comfort throughout the procedure. Following the treatment, the function and health of your tooth will be rehabilitated, and your confident smile restored.
If you need root canal therapy, our team will be able to talk you through what to expect and answer any questions you may have prior to the treatment taking place.
What is a root canal?
Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that is commonly utilized to treat an infection that is located at the center of a tooth. It is designed to help prevent tooth extraction while helping to restore the health and function of the tooth.
Thanks to modern dentistry, the treatment is no more uncomfortable than a regular dental filling, and it relatively quick and easy to treat.
Reasons for root canal therapy
Tooth infections that occur in the center of a tooth (aka the root canal) are caused by bacteria. This bacterium lives in the mouth, and if it finds a way to invade the tooth, it will eventually lead to an infection. Usually, an infection will occur after any of the following:
- Inadequate fillings
- Damage to the tooth from a trauma
- Tooth decay
A tooth is made up of the crown, which is the visible part of the tooth, and the root, which extends into the jawbone, and essentially anchors the tooth into its position. The root canal contains a soft tissue at the center of the tooth, which is known as dental pulp. It extends from the crown through to the end of the root.
When is root canal therapy needed?
Typically, root canal therapy will be necessary when a dental x-ray shows the infection has caused damage to the dental pulp. Once infected, the pulp will slowly start to die, which further allows the bacteria to develop and spread.
Some of the typical symptoms associated with an infection of the dental pulp could include:
- Pain that is experienced when chewing or biting
- Pain that is present when consuming cold or hot items of food or drink
- A tooth becomes loose
Once the infection starts to develop, some of these symptoms will actually ease-up. However, that is often not an indication that things are improving; as the dental pulp dies off, this means that infection could have spread to the root canal system. Symptoms of a prolonged infection could then include:
- Swelling of the face
- A return of the pain when chewing or biting
- Pus oozing from the tooth
- Swelling of the gums near the infected tooth
- The darkening in color of the tooth
Whenever you develop any type of toothache, it’s important to take immediate action by making an appointment to see Dr. Roulston. In the case of an infection, it is not possible for the pulp to heal of its own accord. The longer an infection is left, the harder it will be for the root canal treatment to be successful.
Does A Root Canal Hurt?
At Glenpool Dentistry, patient comfort is a team priority regardless of your reason to visit. From routine preventative care visits to more complex full mouth rehabilitation, root canal treatment, or surgical procedures, we all strive to make every visit pain and anxiety free. Discomfort is always addressed with available anesthetic and sedation options.
What Does Root Canal Therapy Involve?
In order to treat an infected root canal, the first course of action is to remove the bacteria.
The only possible treatment for this will either be root canal therapy or a tooth extraction.
Tooth extraction is usually the last option, as it is always considered best to retain as many of your own natural teeth as possible.
Prior to having root canal treatment, you will be given a local anesthetic. The bacteria will be removed, the canal will be filled, and the tooth is then sealed either with a dental filling or a crown. After treatment and definitive restoration, expect any local inflammation to heal naturally.
If you are considering root canal treatment or experiencing any of the symptoms we have outlined on this page, please contact our team to make an appointment as soon as possible.