A treatment for nerve damage caused by decay or trauma.
When the nerve of a tooth is infected or has been affected by decay or trauma, root canal therapy is needed. When a root canal is needed, the tooth often hurts. Sometimes it will keep you up at night. Sometimes the gums around it will swell up. Sometimes it hurts and then goes away. On the very rare occasion, the tooth never hurts and never shows signs of infection. Regardless of the cause, the structural integrity of the tooth can be saved by removing the living tissues inside the tooth. The living tissues are called the pulp and consist of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The roots are left in place in the jaw bone and the pulp and affected tissues are removed with small instruments and medicated solutions. .
Root canal therapy is preferential to having a tooth extracted. Keeping a tooth with a root canal has shown to be more cost effective than replacement. Root canal therapy also helps to avoid the complications expected with an extraction. Our patients experience a better quality of life when they keep the teeth they have.
Success rates for root canal therapy are very high. Teeth can be restored to their original function.
A root canal procedure may require one or more appointments depending on the doctor and the complexity of the procedure. Dr. Bergman usually performs root canals in 2 visits. Sedation is never required for root canal therapy but is available upon request. Most general dentists perform easy root canal procedures. Dr. Bergman performs easy and moderate root canal procedures and refers to competent, trustworthy local endodontists (root canal specialists) when significant difficulty is expected with the procedure.
While the tooth is numb, the tooth is kept dry and free of saliva. An opening is made on top of the tooth or crown to access the pulp. Small files and instruments are used to clean out the inside of the tooth roots. Files are used to shape the canal inside the root. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
After cleaning and disinfecting the canals inside the root, the roots are filled with a medicine that will kill bacteria and neutralize any remaining tissues. Finally, the tooth will be sealed with a temporary filling.
At the next appointment, no sooner than two weeks later, the medicine inside the roots is cleaned out, filled, and sealed with a special biocompatible dental material. The top of the canals are sealed with a filling and the tooth is built back up and strengthened with bonding. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and restore it to its full function.
Because the treatment involves the entire root(s) of the tooth, there may be sensitivity and tenderness when anesthetic wears off. The discomfort will subside as the inflammation around the tooth lessens and tissues heal.
Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will help increase the life of your root canal treatment.
We strive to give every patient the comfort, care, and compassion that they deserve. Because of this, our practice has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the community.