The Dreaded Root Canal Is Your Best Defense against an Infected Tooth

The Dreaded Root Canal Is Your Best Defense against an Infected Tooth

Jun 01, 2020

Do you have an infected tooth and have been recommended root canal therapy? You may believe this treatment is just as painful as it was decades ago and therefore make attempts to avoid the treatment. However, it is your best defense for preserving the tooth from extraction because a root canal helps to repair and preserve an infected tooth instead of extracting it.

Advances in dentistry and modern anesthetics have ensured that most people don’t undergo any pain when having root canal treatment. On the contrary, living with a painful tooth is worse than having root canal treatment from an endodontic specialist who will perform the procedure. As a fearful patient, you may consider alternatives to the therapy which only include extraction of the damaged tooth and replacing it with solutions like dental implants or bridges.

Symptoms Indicating You Need Root Canal Treatment

All teeth have a soft center known as dental pulp which extends from the visible part of the tooth to the tip of the tooth’s root within the jawbone and contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. Bacteria can infect the pulp when a tooth has cracked or has a deep cavity. The bacteria and decaying material can cause infections and inflammations or even a tooth abscess causing the pulp to die, loss of bone, and the tooth itself. The signs and symptoms indicating that you need root canal therapy include a hole in your tooth, swelling around the neck and face, swelling in the gums, and sensitivity to temperatures.

Step-By-Step Process of Root Canal Treatment


General dentists or endodontists can perform root canal treatments. The treatment can be completed in a couple of visits but sometimes additional visits become necessary because some teeth pose difficulties when treating.

You will initially have dental x-rays taken to determine the damage affecting you. Local anesthetics will be administered to control pain which may be severe if an abscess is affecting the tooth. A rubber dam will be placed in your mouth to keep the tooth clean, free from saliva, and for protection. An access hole will be drilled through the crown of the tooth to expose the pulp chamber before any decay within is removed. The diseased pulp will be removed with the help of tiny dental instruments.

After removing the diseased pulp the specialist at Chandler Dentist will flush and clean the root canals and the pulp chamber and may also decide to reshape or enlarge the canals for better access for the filling. The specialist must clean and disinfect the canals before filling it permanently.

Antibiotics are at times put in the pulp chamber and root canal to prevent infections. For several days the tooth may be left open to drain. Prescription antibiotics may be recommended by Chandler Ranch Dental, AZ, if the infection has extended beyond the tooth. A temporary filling will be placed in the crown if the therapy requires multiple visits to prevent debris and saliva from getting into it. You will be advised not to bite or chew on the tooth until it has been fully treated and restored.

What Happens After Root Canal Treatment?

Restoring your tooth is the final step of root canal treatment. A tooth that has a large filling or extensive decay would have been weakened and therefore it needs to be protected from damage in the future and to restore normal functionality. This is accomplished by placing a dental crown which is similar to a realistic artificial tooth. You can choose the kind of material the crown is made from alternating between gold, or porcelain fused to metal that can be tooth-colored like your other teeth. Your dentist or endodontist can provide you information about the restoration options before or after performing the treatment.

After undergoing root canal treatment your restored tooth with the dental crown will function normally and have an aesthetic appearance. The tooth should last you for a lifetime if you follow proper oral hygiene practices. You may experience some discomfort immediately after the treatment along with tooth sensitivity. However, this problem can easily be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. You can discuss with your dentist if the pain persists for more than just a few days.

Root canal treatments are no longer as dreaded as they used to be and are similar to having a filling placed in a cavity. However, it is the only defense available to safeguard an infected tooth that without the root canal would face extraction.

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