Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy | Chula Vista

What is Root Canal?

A root canal is the most commonly performed endodontic procedure. It involves treating problems within the tooth’s soft core, also known as the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the soft tissue found inside the tooth; it extends from the top of the tooth all the way down to the end of the root. It contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that provide nutrients to the tooth as it grows.

As a tooth grows, the pulp provides nourishment and helps the tooth develop properly. Once the tooth is fully functioning, its nerve is not vital to the tooth’s ability to function, or to providing it with sensory functions such as detecting the sensation of hot or cold. As a result, the nerve and surrounding tissue can be removed from the tooth to repair and save the tooth from an infected pulp. The mature tooth will be able to survive without the pulp.

Damaged Pulp

The pulp is most commonly damaged by an untreated cavity that allows bacteria to eat through the enamel of the tooth and, eventually, infect the pulp. The pulp can also be damaged by trauma that cuts off the tooth’s blood supply, and causes the pulp tissue to die. Although the pulp is no longer needed to supply fully developed teeth with nutrients, it will gradually decay if left damaged within the tooth.

If left untreated, an infection may build up within the root tip and form an abscess that can damage the bone around the teeth, causing pain and creating the potential for permanent damage.

Symptoms of Damaged Pulp

Patients with damaged pulp may experience the following symptoms:

  • Severe toothache
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Discoloration
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Recurring pimple on the gums

If a person is experiencing any of these symptoms, the dental pulp may be infected. Getting prompt treatment to help relieve symptoms and prevent permanent damage is recommended.

The Root Canal Procedure

A root canal is usually performed in a series of dentist-office visits, first to remove the diseased pulp, and then to clean and seal the tooth to prevent further damage.During the first office visit, the dentist will make an opening in the tooth leading into the pulp chamber, and remove the damaged pulp. The canals of the root are cleaned and shaped to prepare them for a filling material. A temporary filling will be placed in the opening to protect the tooth between appointments. The dentist may also prescribe medication to control infection and promote healing.

At the next appointment, the temporary filling will be removed, and the pulp chamber and root canals thoroughly cleaned and filled. The pulp chamber is usually filled with a biocompatible, rubber-like material called gutta-percha, which is cemented to the tooth with a sealer paste. The final step of the root canal procedure is to restore the tooth with a crown, post or other restorative device.

Although many patients think of root canals as being painful and uncomfortable, that is usually not the case. Local anesthesia is used to numb the affected area, although it may not be needed because the nerve tissue is dead. However, anesthesia often helps patients relax.

Risks of Root Canal

Although most root canal procedures are performed successfully with no complications, there is always a risk that the treated tooth will again become infected, especially if it has been subjected to multiple root canals. There is also a small risk of damaging the tooth during the procedure, although this rarely occurs.

Results of Root Canal

Root canal is considered a highly successful treatment, with most patients experiencing complete relief from their symptoms. A crown or filling can usually repair the appearance of the treated tooth so that other people will not even realize that a root canal was performed.

he results of a root canal procedure can be permanent, as long as the patient practices healthy oral hygiene and visits the dentist on a regular basis.

 

Related Root Canal/Endodontic Articles

Root Canal - Dear Doctor Magazine“I’d Rather Have a Root Canal…”
A common misconception is demystified. Get the real story about this much maligned procedure that eases pain, rather than causes it… Read Article

Root Canal - Dear Doctor MagazineRoot Canal Treatment For Children’s Teeth
You may think that if a baby tooth comes out prematurely, it’s no great loss; after all, it was going to fall out anyway, right? Wrong! Primary teeth serve as important guides for the permanent teeth that will replace them. Young children can lose primary (baby) teeth when the pulp, the living tissue inside a tooth, becomes infected as a result of decay or trauma. Losing baby teeth prematurely can allow bite problems to develop. Root canal treatment for children can prevent this. Learn what to look for in your child and what can be done to save baby teeth until they are ready to be lost naturally… Read Article

Dental Injuries - Dear Doctor MagazineTrauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth
Answers to treatment of specific dental injuries – not only do injuries and their treatment vary, but they are also influenced by the type of tooth, whether baby or adult teeth, and their stage of growth and development. From chipped to fractured teeth, modern dentistry’s answers are here and now… Read Article

Tooth Pain - Dear Doctor MagazineTooth Pain? Don’t Wait!
Pain is a protective response that ranges from minor sensitivity to severe pain and informs the body that something is wrong. As for tooth pain, it is caused by a reaction of the nerves inside a tooth’s pulp chamber with the severity dependent upon the type and degree of the stimulus… Read Article

Common Root Canal Concerns - Dear Doctor MagazineCommon Concerns About Root Canal Treatments
Getting to the “root” of the problem. Get the real story about this much maligned procedure that eases pain, rather than causes it… Read Article

 


 


Call us today to transform your smile

Request an Appointment

Quick Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Locate Our Office

1351 Medical Center Dr. – Ste B
Chula Vista, CA 91911