A root canal is a restorative endodontic treatment used to relieve pain and cure a tooth infection as a result of damage to the dental pulp from tooth decay or dental trauma. Underneath the enamel and dentin layers, you’ll find the dental pulp.
This is the soft center of your tooth, which is connected to the tooth’s nerves. This is why when you have an infection, you may experience a lot of pain and sensitivity.
To remove the infection, we need to scrape out the dental pulp, including the root, clean your canals to remove bacteria and fill the inside of the tooth with gutta-percha. Contact us at A Street Dental to schedule an appointment with Dr. Blake Anderson.
The rear molars are more likely to become infected because they have additional pits and grooves.
Dr. Anderson will examine your tooth and take x-rays to determine if the pulp is still alive and can be saved with root canal treatment. If not, the tooth will need to be extracted.
Your Grants Pass dentist will administer local anesthesia and drill an access hole into the tooth to reach the pulp. Using special tools, we will scrape out all of the dental pulp, down to the root.
Each of the tooth’s canals needs to be cleaned and reshaped. A tooth can contain between 1-4 canals, so this process may take one or multiple appointments.
The inside of the tooth will be filled with a material called gutta-percha. Then, we can place a dental crown to protect the tooth if necessary.
Anterior root canals are root canals performed in the front 6 teeth. This procedure is more difficult to perform in these teeth because of the little space and more complex nature of gaining access into the tooth.
However, because these teeth are thinner, they contain fewer canals which make canal cleaning faster and require fewer appointments. There is also less pain associated with these teeth so patients may not require as much anesthetic.
We must create an access hole from the back of the tooth. A crown is typically not necessary, because these teeth are not used for chewing.
Posterior root canals are performed in the rear teeth, such as the molars. Root canals are most commonly performed on posterior teeth because they are more likely to become decayed due to the extra pits and grooves which are difficult to clean.
In these teeth, we will make an access hole from the top chewing surface and this provides much better access to the dental pulp and canals. These teeth can contain up to 4 canals so cleaning and reshaping the canals may take multiple appointments.
Because these teeth withstand a lot of chewing forces, we may recommend that you place a dental crown to protect the tooth from damage.
Dental sealants can protect your molars from cavities and severe tooth decay that require root canal treatment.
No, it is not painful. We numb your mouth with local anesthesia so you will not feel any discomfort during the procedure.
The telltale warning sign that you have an infection is the presence of swelling and an abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus and it forms when bacteria has entered your tooth from an untreated cavity, previous dental work, or dental trauma.
When you have a cavity, it starts small and only affects the outermost layer of your tooth – the enamel. However, if it is left untreated, it will grow in size. The tooth decay then spreads through the underlying layers of the tooth, such as the dentin or the pulp.
Once decay reaches the innermost layer of dental pulp, it becomes inflamed and causes an infection. However, inflammation can also result from dental trauma or bacteria can enter the tooth through a crack or an exposed nerve. Infections can be incredibly painful because the tooth’s pulp contains nerves that are responsible for sensation and this causes hypersensitivity,
The bulk of your healing will occur in the first 2 to 3 days. During this time, you will experience some swelling, tenderness, and tooth sensitivity. This is normal and will dissipate with time, as the inflammation from working on the tooth goes down.
Your root canal is not complete until you restore the tooth with a dental crown. Until then, you need to chew carefully and avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. Go back to the dentist as soon as possible to have your crown bonded to your tooth for protection.
Most people feel fully healed after the first few days, but you may have lingering tenderness for up to a week. By week two, you should no longer be feeling symptoms. If you still feel pain and swelling, you should call the dentist to check if you still have an active infection.
Most patients recover from a root canal within just a few days. You should be able to return to work the next day with minimal pain and swelling that lasts for about 48 hours. You can take anti-inflammatory pain medication, rinse your mouth with salt water, and keep your head elevated to reduce swelling.
You will need to wait for the anesthetic to wear off before you can eat or consume hot liquids so you don’t get an oral injury.
When your mouth is no longer numb, you can eat but you should stick to soft foods that aren’t too hot for the first 24 hours. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth and carefully brush and floss your teeth.
Yes, it’s rare, but it happens. There are a few different reasons why a root canal could fail. One of your canals could have been missed due to complicated root canal structure and that means that your tooth may not have been thoroughly cleaned.
If bacteria is not completely removed, then the infection can still be present. Another possibility is that the tooth became reinfected because you did not restore the tooth with a crown. A tooth is weakened after a root canal treatment and is at high risk for breakage.
Bacteria can re-enter the tooth through a crack. If your dental crown is loose, this can also allow bacteria to enter through the crevices around the tooth and crown. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, and discharge a week after your root canal, you should contact us for an emergency appointment to get the tooth retreated.
Root canals are 95% successful but if the treatment fails, you can have the tooth retreated.