Root canals are tiny passageways that branch off from beneath the top of the tooth, coursing their way vertically downward, until they reach the tip of the root.
All teeth have between one and four root canals. Many tooth problems involve infections that spread to the pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. When the infection becomes worse, it can begin affecting the roots. A traumatic injury to a tooth can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems.
A diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems including pain and sensitivity as the first indications of a problem. However, inside a spreading infection can cause small pockets of pus to develop, which can lead to an abscess.
Root canal therapy is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success and involves removing the diseased tissue, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. In fact, root canal therapy is designed to save a problem tooth; before the procedure was developed and gained acceptance, the only alternative for treating a diseased tooth was extraction.
Root canal therapy usually entails one to three visits. During the first visit, a small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth and into the inner chamber. Diseased tissue is removed, the inner chamber cleansed and disinfected, and the tiny canals reshaped. The cleansed chamber and canals are filled with an elastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. If necessary, the drilled hole is temporarily filled until a permanent seal is made with a crown.
Most patients who have root canal experience little or no discomfort or pain, and enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as its healthy original.
Root canal therapy actually surprises patients on how easy and pain-free the procedure is. Many say the infected root canal is more painful than the actual treatment and find that the recovery is also very easy with little to no pain.
Drs. Ayesh and Raman Saluja will always ensure you feel comfortable during your root canal therapy. We may provide you a local anesthetic to help reduce any pain and help you feel relaxed throughout the procedure.
If your tooth still hurts a week after your root canal procedure, you may need to come in for an examination of the area. Our team may need additional cleaning in the root canals and possibly retreatment.
It’s good to know, however, that you will experience some mild to moderate discomfort in the first few days following your procedure.
A root canal retreatment is needed if the pulp becomes infected again after your first treatment. This can happen if your initial procedure went wrong or if debris infects the area of your treated tooth.
During retreatment, our doctors will reopen your tooth and remove the filling materials that were placed in the root canals. Then, we will gently examine the area in search of any additional canals or new infections.
A toothache caused by an infected root canal can progress to a very severe generalized headache. Dental related problems can easily trigger head pain, but they can luckily be subsided with OTC pain medications.
If your headache doesn’t diminish after taking medicine or once you’ve received root canal treatment, we recommend giving your general doctor a call.
Root canal therapy can take anywhere from one to three visits, each visit lasting 90 minutes to a couple of hours. We always want to make your dental experience easy and pain-free.
Art Dentistry Center can offer you sedation dentistry to help ease your worries. Ask our doctors about your options during your initial consultation.