Root Canal Therapy in Calgary
Root canal therapy is performed every day and saves millions of teeth each year. Also known as endodontic treatments, a root canal treats the inside of the tooth while saving the outside structure of the tooth. After root canal therapy, a crown covers the remaining tooth, maintaining natural stability and structure, while continuing to function like a normal tooth. If you are experiencing tooth pain with no noticeable tooth problems, you may be a candidate for root canal therapy.
Understanding the Anatomy of a Tooth
Before going into detail about root canal therapy, it is important for you to understand the anatomy of a tooth. The part of the tooth you see consists of the surface enamel and the hard layer of tooth called dentin. This is what makes up the visible section you see. Underneath the dentin is a soft tissue called the pulp. Inside this pulp you will find blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. This pulp is essential when your teeth are growing, as it is responsible for the creation of the dentin.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy addresses infected or inflamed pulp within a tooth. Dentists remove the infected pulp that may be causing pain or an abscess, cleans and shapes the inner space, fills the space, and then covers the remaining tooth with a crown. Because the tooth no longer needs the pulp, this allows the tooth to survive and maintain stability in the mouth.
Why would I need a Root Canal?
Inflammation and infection inside the pulp can occur for a variety of different reasons. Deep decay on the outside of the tooth can penetrate into the pulp. A cracked or chipped tooth can allow decay to infect or irritate the pulp. An injury, such as a blow to the face, can cause internal damage to a tooth without any noticeable problem.
Some signs you may need root canal therapy include pain or tenderness from the tooth, pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth discoloration, and swelling in the gums surrounding the tooth. In many cases, you may not experience any symptoms, and this is why regular dental check-ups are important.
How is a Root Canal Performed?
Root canal therapy typically involves two or more visits to your dental office. The root canal begins with the dentist making a small opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small tools allow the dentist to clean and remove the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals of the tooth. After everything is removed, the dentist will fill the space with a rubbery material called gutta-percha. This is placed into the space with an adhesive cement in order to insure the space is filled. In cases where the remaining tooth is not structurally stable enough to support a crown, a metal post may be placed inside the tooth in order to provide the necessary stability.
Once complete, the dentist will place a temporary filling in the tooth until the crown can be applied. At the second appoint, the temporary filling is removed, and a crown is cemented onto the tooth.
Risks and Considerations Associated with Root Canal Therapy
All medical and dental procedures come with risks or complications and root canal therapy is no exception. The most common complaint associated with root canal therapy is pain, which can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain. This pain typically subsides within a few days after the procedure. If you continue to experience pain, consult your dentist.
In rare cases, a canal can be missed during the procedure and the inflammation or infection will continue. In this case, the dentist will need to go in and once again clean out the pulp and root canals. Small cracks in the root of a tooth can be missed by the dentist and, when this occurs, bacteria can get back into the area of the tooth, resulting in the need for additional treatment.
Over time, the gutta-percha inside the tooth as well as the inner seal can erode, allowing bacteria to once again enter the tooth. Proper dental care and regular checkups can help avoid this from happening.
Taking Care of Your Root Canal
Regular brushing, flossing, and dental exams help keep your teeth healthy and allow for the dentist to notice any possible changes or complications. Because your root canal is covered with a crown, avoid biting or chewing hard objects, such as ice or hard candy, as these can cause cracks in the porcelain. If you continue to experience pain in the tooth, contact your dentist immediately to have it checked out.
If you are interested in learning more information about root canal therapy in Calgary, give our office a call today and we can set up a free root canal consultation and create a treatment plan just for you.
Learn More about Root Canal Therapy in Calgary
If you are in pain and suspect you might be in need root canal therapy, contact Inglewood Family Dental to arrange for your root canal consultation with Dr. Arash Ravanbakhsh today.