Root Canals

Pain to a tooth can be caused from a number of different reasons but typically involves an infection/decay that affects the dental pulp of the tooth. Dental pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth. When damaged, you could experience extreme pain. However, pain is not necessarily required for a root canal to be suggested by your dentist. Radiographs (x-rays)can show pathology associated with the nerve of the tooth despite the lack of pain and clinical symptoms with a tooth. A root canal will be suggested if there is a darker spot/ lesion around the end of the root. Even previously treated root canals can develop these radiographic findings.

A root canal removes the nerves of a tooth. By gently drilling into the tooth, the nerve can be accessed and removed. The canal needs to be disinfected and then filled to seal the tooth from the rest of the body. Once a root canal is completed, the tooth is essentially “dead”. Your dentist may recommended a dental crown following the completion of a root canal because it is required to strengthen the tooth against fracture (the tooth can be more susceptible to fracture and cracking). Immediately following the starting and/or completion of a root canal, the patient may feel sore from the area for a short period of time. Antibiotics are usually recommended prior to starting the procedure and can be suggested following the procedure.

Most root canals can be completed by a general dentist at Florida Choice Dentistry. However, depending on the difficulty of your tooth, an Endodontist (root canal specialist) may be required to complete your treatment. A root canal may be the only way to save a natural tooth from an extraction.

Root canals are not 100% effective to control the infection associated with the tooth. It may be required to re-treat the root canal if the symptoms do not subside. In a select number of cases, a small surgical procedure (Apicoectomy) may be suggested to achieve resolution of clinical symptoms and/ or radiographic evidence of pathology.

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