Root Canal Therapy

You will find countless online resources to learn about root canal therapies. Besides, it’s one of the US's most common dental/oral healthcare procedures. According to the American Association of Endodontists, over 15 million root canal therapies occur annually in the US. What is root canal therapy? How can a dentist in Clarkston ensure the best results? Keep reading this post to get the answer to those questions. This post discusses root canal therapy's importance, benefits, and procedure.

What is a Root Canal Therapy (Root Canals)?

The legs start quaking when patients hear about root canal therapy. Root canals aren’t as painful or complicated as most patients think. In reality, they’re quite straightforward and understandable dental procedures. Millions of people get root canals every year. It’s an effective endodontic treatment method that helps relieve tooth pain and improve overall teeth health. It involves the removal of inflamed or infected pulp inside the tooth, which can cause severe connective tissue conditions and oral health problems.

What’s Infected or Inflamed Pulp?

Your tooth’s white surface is enamel, the hardest tissue in the human body. Under it, there’s another hard layer of “dentin” that contains minerals. However, it’s not as strong as enamel. Beneath the dentin, you will find a soft tissue that acts as connective tissue and consists of many blood vessels and nerves. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that nourish the growth of the tooth’s root. Once a tooth grows and becomes healthy enough, it might not even require the pulp. That’s because the surrounding connective tissue would be enough to nourish its growth.

The root canal treatment isn’t performed in the same traditional manner anymore. It involves a modern procedure beginning with proper analysis and evaluation. The dentist then delivers a local anesthetic to relieve pain in the affected tooth for an effective procedure. Then, surgeons use intricate and precise surgical instruments to treat root canals. It’s a highly effective remedy for tooth root infections and root canal fillings. It has countless benefits for modern root canal patients as well:

  • Efficient and painless chewing
  • The natural appearance of the tooth (reduced risk of discoloration)
  • Protects surrounding teeth from catching onto the pulp/root infection
  • Maintains adequate biting force and sensations

What’s the Procedure of a Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy is a simple one. It’s a straightforward procedure but requires an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled dental surgeon for effective results. The team of dentists at Canyon Dental in Clarkston, Washington, is trained in handling root canals and other complicated dental issues. Read about the three main steps that make up most of root canal therapy:

• Root Canal Cleaning

It starts when the dentist evaluates your oral health status and cross-checks your personal medical history with your current health problems. After proper evaluation and agreement that root canal therapy suits a patient, the dentist will perform a special dental cleaning involving the root canal. Your dental surgeon at Clarkston dentistry will give you local anesthesia and create a small hole to access the soft tissue pulp inside it. The surgeon will remove as much infected pulp as possible through the holed surface. This step deals directly with the diseased and inflamed pulp. The surgeon must have microsurgical skills to handle tiny files.

• Root Canal Filling

The next step is to fill the root canal after thoroughly cleaning it. Once the surgeon cleans the tooth and removes all the diseased pulp, all that’s left is a hollow area. Now, the dentist will have to reshape and decontaminate the hollow area. They will do that using irrigation solutions and tiny microsurgical files. The surgeon will then use a rubber-like mineral/material to fill the root canal. Then the dentist will add an adhesive seal (usually cement) to close the canals safely.

You must realize that the treatment removes diseased and infected pulp under anesthetic effect. Since the connective tissue comprising nerves and blood vessels is no longer there, the patient doesn’t feel any pain or discomfort. The tooth is dead after root canal therapy, but the surgeon will do their best to maintain oral health and natural tooth appearance.

• Adding a Filling or Crown

The tooth becomes more fragile after decontamination and reshaping. The tooth must keep getting nourishment from the surrounding tissues and ligaments. Otherwise, it could turn into a severe oral health issue. Despite that, the tooth is prone to become brittle and more fragile. Crowns, rubber-like fillings, and bridges preserve the natural appearance of the tooth after root canal therapy. That’s why you will notice your dental surgeon talking to you about dental crowns and bridges during the first appointment. Without getting a crown or filling, a patient of root canal therapy runs a high risk of breaking or damaging the brittle tooth. Although it won’t be as painful in connection to the tooth, it will lead to poor overall oral health.

Post-Treatment Recovery: Tips to Know

Looking after your tooth that went under root canal treatment will ensure adequate recovery. Biting on hard foods is a big no-no because you risk breaking the fragile tooth and causing gum health issues. The whole root canal treatment can take several appointments depending on the patient’s tolerance, complication, and budget. Although the tooth will die naturally, and the infected pulp won’t be there anymore to cause pain, you might still feel soreness for a few days post-treatment.

To overcome the soreness and bruises around your jaw, you can use OTC painkillers, including ibuprofen and paracetamol. You can reach your dentist for dental checkups whenever you feel an issue is getting out of hand. You can care for your tooth after root canal therapy by:

  • Avoiding sugary foods
  • Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Cleaning your teeth daily to maintain oral hygiene

Is the Procedure Painful?

The most typical fear among patients when they hear “root canals” is painful cleaning. Dental surgeons are accustomed to providing local anesthesia to patients, numbing the targeted surgical site. Hence, the procedure is painful. But soreness and bruises on the jaw are common post-treatment symptoms.

When Do You Require a Root Canal Therapy?

Your dentist in Clarkston at Canyon Dental, Washington, will take x-rays of your mouth. The x-rays will reveal the underlying damage to the soft tissue pulp inside your tooth. If the dentist identifies the soft tissue damage as inflammation or severe infection, they might recommend root canal therapy.

The most common symptom you need root canal therapy is when your dentist catches root infections in your oral x-rays. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Presence of pimple-like bumps on the gums
  • Abscess pain
  • Chewing and biting pain
  • Hot/soft sensitivity
  • Loose tooth

If the condition goes untreated and the symptoms worsen, you will experience the following signs:

  • Pus in the affected tooth
  • Swollen jaw or cheek
  • More frequent chewing and biting pain
  • Gum swelling near the affected tooth

Get Root Canals at Your Clarkston Dentist

Contact the expert dentists at Canyon Dental in Clarkston, Washington, for strong teeth and a pearly smile. We have helped dozens of patients recover from debilitating and painful oral health issues. Dr. Joe Schmidt and Dr. Ray Waller have performed root canals, preventive dentistry, and dental cleanings on numerous patients. At Canyon Dental in Clarkston, experienced dentists will evaluate your oral health and find suitable treatment options. The staff is well-experienced and trained to handle patients of all ages. You can rely on us for high-quality dentistry. Call us and schedule a free consultation for a personalized treatment plan today!