Root Canal (Endodontics)
What Are Endodontics?
Endodontics is a dental specialty focusing on diagnosing and treating problems inside the teeth, including the soft tissue. The soft tissue, or dental pulp, contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp covers the top of the crown to root tips and creates the surrounding hard tissue that forms the outside of the tooth.
Endodontic procedures are essential when the dental pulp becomes infected or inflamed, usually as a result of decay, cracked or chipped teeth, or repeated dental procedures. When you have infected pulp, it can lead to pain or an abscess, as well as increased sensitivity and tenderness. Dental pulp is vital to the growth and development of healthy teeth but is not necessary once teeth are fully mature.
How Does The Pulp Become Damaged?
The Dental pulp is most commonly damaged by an untreated cavity that allows bacteria to eat through the enamel of the tooth and, eventually, infect the pulp. Trauma that cuts off the tooth’s blood supply can also cause the pulp to be damaged. This can cause the pulp tissue to die. Although the pulp is no longer needed to supply fully developed teeth with nutrients, it will gradually decay if left damaged within the tooth.
Symptoms Of Damaged Pulp
Patients with damaged pulp may experience the following:
- Severe toothache
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Recurring pimple on the gums
If left untreated, an infection may build up within the root tip and form an abscess that can damage the bone around the teeth, causing pain and the potential for permanent damage. A root canal performed by Dr. DeStefano can help relieve symptoms and prevent permanent damage is highly recommended.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is the most common procedure an endodontist performs. This procedure should remedy both the infection within the tooth and the pain that it causes. Though many people fear root canals, the procedure itself is much less painful than the pain that it alleviates.
How Are Endodontic Problems identified?
X-rays are the most common method to identify problems within the dental pulp. Occasionally, X-rays do not show these problems, despite complaints of symptoms from patients. In this case, Dr. DeStefano can perform a diagnostic root canal. This procedure will help identify holes or cracks that may be the cause of dental pulp damage.
The Root Canal Procedure
This treatment can take one or two appointments to complete.
- Dr. DeStefano will conduct a comprehensive tooth evaluation
- Patients will receive a local anesthetic
- A small opening will be made in the crown of the tooth and the dental pulp will be cleaned from the pulp chamber
- Dr. DeStefano will fill the newly clear space with a rubber-like material and apply a temporary filling to the opening in the crown
In severe cases of pulp damage, that have not responded or recurred after treatment, other endodontic procedures may be necessary. Dr. DeStefano will decide which procedure is right for you after an evaluation of your condition.
What Results Can A Root Canal Achieve?
After treatment, the tooth will need to be restored to a fully functional state. For example, Dr. DeStefano may elect to place a permanent filling, or he may suggest a crown. Whichever option is chosen, it is essential that you complete the permanent restoration to avoid failure of the endodontic treatment.
Root Canal Patient Testimonial
“His staff is excellent. Always very pleasant. Administrators are always helpful. Got my wisdom teeth out a few years ago and root canal shortly after, both cases were a breeze. Highly recommend DeStefano!”
Root Canal Recovery
In the days following the root canal procedure patients will likely experience swelling, pain, and sensitivity. DeStefano Dentistry recommends anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate these symptoms. After recovery, patients feel that their treated tooth is the same as their natural teeth. It is uncommon for patients to have any trouble eating, speaking or smiling.
Does The Root Canal Procedure Hurt?
Many patients think the root canal procedure is painful and uncomfortable, but usually, that is not the case. Local anesthesia is used to numb the affected area, although it may not be needed because the nerve tissue is dead. However, anesthesia will often help patients relax.
Risks Of Root Canal Treatments
Most root canal procedures are usually performed successfully with no complications, but there is always a risk that the treated tooth will again become infected, especially if it has been subjected to multiple root canals. Also, the is a small risk of damaging the tooth during the procedure, although this rarely occurs.
Schedule a Consultation
For those suffering the pain of an advanced dental infection, emergency appointments can be made by calling our Pittsford dental clinic at 585.248.2383. Don’t wait any longer, experience real pain relief today.