The canal of the root is located in the center of your tooth and extends far below the tooth and gum line. When your tooth is infected or decayed, you may need a root canal. When the decay reaches the pulp, or nerve, of a tooth, a root canal becomes necessary. It is impossible for a tooth to heal on its own at this point. A root canal may also be required when the tooth experiences trauma or fracture. Untreated, you may experience a painful infection which can travel down the root tip and can even compromise your entire immune system.
Other problems that damage the pulp of a tooth
|Repetitive dental procedures on the tooth.
|A chipped or cracked tooth.
Symptoms of pulp infections may be:
|Pain, noticeable when you bite.
|Sensitivity to hot/cold.
|Swelling of gums.
|A discolored tooth.
|Sensitivity to sugar.
|Pimples on your gums.
|Bad taste in the mouth.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment begins with a visit with our dentist, Dr. Liu. He will determine the type of treatment you need, and the necessary steps to take. At our office, we will x-ray your teeth determining the shape of your root canal. X-rays will also allow us to determine if your surrounding bone areas are infected as well. Next your tooth will be drilled; this is so we can remove the infected pulp. Sometimes we will seal, fill, the empty space with a rubber like substance, but at other times, we will wait a week before sealing up the hole. This will vary from patient to patient. If we do not complete the root canal procedure on the same day, you will receive a temporary filling so that area is not contaminated. This will prevent further infection. On your next visit, a crown is placed to strengthen the tooth and help your tooth from breaking.
After the Root Canal
After your root canal procedure, you may experience some normal discomfort. There will be tissue inflammation around the tooth, particularly those areas that were infected. To ease your discomfort Dr. Liu may prescribe some pain medication, or suggest you take over the counter pain relief.
You should be able to return to normal activity within the next two days, but it is best to be cautious with what you eat. To protect your crown, you should avoid eating on the side of your mouth where the crown is. You want to make sure the tooth is fully restored.
The Benefits of a Root Canal
Root Canals are a benefit to you, if your root canal therapy is successful, you can save your tooth without needing a complex surgery. If your root canal is successful, it will generally last for a lifetime.
Once you have root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Studies show that most root canals are successful. When they are not successful, for that small percentage, your tooth can be restored through surgery. We here at Dr. Liu's Family Dentistry in Edmond, WA are root canal specialists, and if you contact us, we can explain the success rates, and procedures to restoring your tooth further. Contact our Edmonds, WA office today at (425) 771-2100 for more information.