WHY WOULD I NEED AN ENDODONTIC PROCEDURE?
You have been referred to our office by your dentist for endodontic treatment, also known as “root canal”. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, a blow to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Signs of pulp damage include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes, there are no symptoms.
HOW DOES ENDODONTIC TREATMENT SAVE THE TOOTH?
The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
WILL I FEEL PAIN DURING OR AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
With modern techniques and anesthetics most of our patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. Keeping you comfortable throughout every phase of the treatment is our primary concern although it is not unusual for a tooth to be sore or sensitive for a few days after the treatment. This discomfort can be relieved with OTC or prescription medications. It is not unusual for your tooth to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after the treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure, or pain that lasts more than a few days, please call our office.
WILL THE TOOTH NEED ANY SPECIAL CARE OR ADDITIONAL TREATMENT?
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture. It is important for you to see your dentist for a full restoration within several weeks from your final visit with our office.
WHAT IS ROOT CANAL RETREATMENT?
Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. In a few cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment may fail due to new trauma, deep decay or a loose, cracked or broken filling. When this happens, another endodontic procedure can save the tooth.
WHAT IS ENDODONTIC MICRO- SURGERY?
The most common endodontic surgical procedure is called an apicoectomy. When inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after endodontic treatment, your endodontist may perform an apicoectomy. In this procedure, the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to expose the underlying bone and the infected tissue is removed. The very end of the root is also removed and a small filling may be placed to seal the root canal. This procedure will be done under local anesthetics and most of our patients are able to drive home and return to their normal activities the next day.