Endodontic therapy (root canal) is required when the nerve of the tooth has been damaged through trauma, infection, or deep decay. The alternative to a root canal is extraction, so if your dentist diagnoses the need for a root canal, you have a choice to make.
Save the Tooth or Extract
Many patients have heard the stories about getting a root canal, but in reality this is a procedure that is fairly quick, and with little discomfort (if any). A comparison of a root canal or selecting extraction follows:
Root Canal Treatment – A dental x-ray is needed to determine how many canals are involved and their placement. Your dental provider will begin the root canal procedure by numbing the area; a barrier will be used to keep the tooth dry. An access point will be created in the tooth and endodontic files will be used to remove the contents of the canals – nerve, pulp, and infectious tissue. The canals will be packed with gutta percha to provide stability for the tooth; the access point will be sealed often utilizing a dental crown.
Extraction – Your dentist will numb the area prior to extraction. Once the tooth has been removed, you are faced with a variety of situations like difficulty chewing, or smiling may reveal a gap where a tooth should be. You will most likely be advised to consider your tooth replacement options after extraction.
Recommendations From Your Dentist
If possible, it is always best to save a biological tooth. It will look and feel more natural; the dental crown placed to seal the opening will be made to match surrounding teeth so it will be aesthetically pleasing.
A root canal takes about an hour and one appointment; the dental crown needed to seal the opening takes approximately two appointments. But now the process (and your smile!) is complete.
To learn more about how root canal therapy can save your tooth, contact our team at Bliss Dental and schedule an appointment today.