Saving your teeth
ROOT CANAL THERAPY AT AMAYA DENTAL
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. A root canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to seeking dental care is truly painful, not the root canal procedure itself.
HOW COMMON ARE ROOT CANAL PROCEDURES?
Root canal treatments are one of the most commonly performed endodontic procedures in the U.S.
Each year around 15 million root canal treatments are performed while each day close to 41,000 procedures are performed. The procedure is safe and is effective in relieving pain while also decreasing the risk of other dental complications.
When carried out by experienced and skilled dentists root canals have a 97 percent success rate. The professionals at Amaya Dental deliver root canal therapy, which combined with the right dental crown and filling, provides long-lasting and pleasing results. When appropriate care is taken, root canals can also last a lifetime 85 percent of the time! This is why we at Amaya Dental recommend regular professional cleaning at our center along with dental exams.
WHAT IS A ROOT CANAL?
All teeth have the following components:
- Crown— This is the tooth’s top part which is what you normally see. The function of the tooth depends on the shape of the crown. While molars have flat surfaces that enable grinding, crowns of the front teeth are sharp facilitating cutting or biting.
- Gumline— Gumline is the point where gums and the tooth meet. Tartar or plaque builds up in this area when appropriate dental care is not taken.
- Root— The root anchors the tooth to the bone and makes up two thirds of a tooth.
- Enamel— This is the outermost and the hardest layer of the tooth. The enamel is also the most mineralized of tissues in the human body. It is prone to damage and decay when appropriate care is not taken.
- Dentin—Under the enamel is the layer called dentin. Being softer than the enamel this layer contains small tubes known as dentinal tubules that are fluid filled.
- Pulp— Lymph, nerve tissue and blood vessels are all part of the dental pulp and supply nutrients to the soft tissue under the enamel (dentin). When the tooth decay goes beyond the enamel and dentin to reach the pulp, the nerves in the area send out the pain signals. In a root canal therapy, the damaged or decaying pulp is the area that is removed to prevent further complications.
WHAT DAMAGES A TOOTH'S NERVE AND PULP IN THE FIRST PLACE?
A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
Signs you may need root canal therapy include:
- Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed)
- Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
WHY SHOULD THE PULP BE REMOVED?
When decay or damage reaches the pulp, it starts to break down and bacteria start to multiply in the chamber. The dying remains of the pulp along with bacteria combine to cause abscess and infection of the tooth. The abscess is a pocket that is filled with pus and forms at the root of the tooth.
Tooth infection can also cause:
- Swelling of the area that may spread to neck, face, or head
- Bone loss at the root tip
- A hole can form on the side of the tooth resulting in drainage problems
IS THE PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
At Amaya Dental, we have the right professionals who are highly experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of dental care. Combined with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, the dental care you receive at our center is aimed at always making you smile. We use the most updated cutting edge dental technology and techniques perfected through years of practice to deliver the most comfortable, pain free experience.
Modern techniques that we use at Amaya Dental help our patients stay pain free during and after the procedure. There may be slight sensitivity for a few days post the root canal treatment especially if the infection or pain prior to the procedure was severe. Our dental experts prescribe effective pain medication to relieve this discomfort. It is important to follow our dental professionals’ advice carefully post the treatment to facilitate healing.
THE ROOT CANAL PROCEDURE
The root canal procedure requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist.
The first step in the procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Your dentist will then use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. Actually, anesthesia may not be necessary, since the nerve is dead, but most dentists still anesthetize the area to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.
Next, to keep the area dry and free of saliva during treatment, your dentist will place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth.
An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth. The pulp, along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue, and related debris, is removed from the tooth. The cleaning-out process is accomplished using root canal files. A series of these files of increasing diameter are each subsequently placed into the access hole and worked down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals. Water or sodium hypochlorite is used periodically to flush away the debris.
HOW SUCCESSFUL IS ROOT CANAL THERAPY?
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it needs to be sealed. Some dentists like to wait a week before sealing the tooth. For instance, if there is an infection, your dentist may put a medication inside the tooth to clear it up. Others may choose to seal the tooth the same day it is cleaned out. If the root canal is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole in the tooth to keep contaminants out between appointments.
At the next appointment, to fill the interior of the tooth, a sealer paste and a rubber compound called gutta-percha are placed into the tooth’s root canal. To fill the exterior access hole created at the beginning of treatment, a filling is placed.
The final step may involve further restoration of the tooth. Because a tooth that needs root canal therapy often is one that has a large filling or extensive decay or other weakness, a crown, crown and post, or other restoration often needs to be placed on the tooth to protect it, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to full function. Your dentist will discuss the need for any additional dental work with you.
Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with root canal therapy can last a lifetime
THE BENEFITS OF ROOT CANAL THERAPY
There are many myths that surround root canal therapy. While many people fear that the treatment is excessively painful and may result in further illness, these are far from the truth! On the contrary, root canal therapy is a proven technique that eliminates infection and chronic pain associated with tooth decay. It can help save the original tooth and the natural appearance by removing and cleaning the decaying tissue.
Patients have reported that root canal treatment is painless and results in reduced pain post procedure as compared to the pain you felt before the treatment.
Root canal therapy is highly effective in restoring:
- Efficient chewing
- Normal sensation
- Normal bite force
- Natural or aesthetic appearance
Apart from these benefits, a root canal is also a cost-effective treatment that can preserve functionality and appearance of the natural tooth for a lifetime! As compared to tooth extraction or other follow up treatments, root canal is the most highly effective way to gain back full functionality. Amaya Dental’s experienced team will ensure that you will receive the best outcome. Our team of dental professionals believes in restoring your smile to the fullest, with the best of technology and aesthetically appealing results.