Root canal therapy is often needed in extreme circumstances when the nerve of your tooth has been severely damaged, either by infection or decay. Once it has been determined that a root canal is needed to save the tooth, our Prescott Valley dentists will extract the pulp, known as the living tissue inside the tooth, and leave the empty tooth as a natural implant.
Although root canal therapy may come as a result of a dying tooth, they’re often long lasting, more cost-effective in the long run, and are recommended over tooth extraction. In fact, having a tooth extracted may result in a need for a more costly procedure to fill the missing gap in the smile.
Signs You May Need Root Canal Treatment
There are several important warning signs that occur when a tooth is damaged and in need of attention. Symptoms you should look out for when looking for a damaged tooth include:
- Pimples or abscesses on the gums
- Severe toothache
- Tenderness or sensitivity
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
If you find that you have any of these symptoms which correlate with an infected or decayed tooth, it might be time to seek professional treatment.
Process: What Does Treatment Involve?
Root canal therapy involves a process typically completed over two visits to Larson Dental and generally consists of cleaning out the tooth completely – leaving an empty shell of a tooth which can then be filled with a temporary or permanent filling.
The steps include:
- Numbing the tooth and using a sheet of rubber, known as a rubber dam, to keep the tooth protected, dry, and saliva free.
- Making a small opening either on top or behind the tooth in order to remove the bacteria, nerve tissue, pulp, and any remaining tooth decay.
- Once the tooth has been cleaned out, the inner pulp chamber will be sterilized and filled with composite filling and biocompatible material.
After one week of recovery, our patients return for crown placement. Made of highly durable porcelain, the crown restoration helps restore oral function and prevent infection from recurring and damaging the tooth once again.
Common symptoms following treatment include inflammation and tooth sensitivity. However, these symptoms are not permanent and will subside as the tooth heals. Additionally, understanding that every patient recovers at their own pace and according to their particular case is important and will help in the recovery process.