To understand root canal therapy, you need to understand a little bit about your teeth. They are made up of a layer of enamel, a layer of a hard material called dentin, and an inner chamber and canals containing the tooth’s pulp or soft tissue. The pulp is made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. At the bottom of your tooth’s roots, the pulp connects to the surrounding tissue. Your teeth need this pulp to develop correctly, but once they are mature, they can survive without it, getting nourishment from surrounding tissue.
The pulp in any tooth may become inflamed or infected, and you may be a candidate for root canal therapy to save the tooth. Inflammation or infection can happen when dental decay gets deep enough to encounter the tooth’s pulp, after repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or when it is cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged.
Our dentists in Syracuse, Utah, can help determine if you need root canal therapy for your tooth. Pain that lingers even after hot or cold triggers have been removed, severe pain, and swollen and inflamed gums may be signs of pulp inflammation or infection.
If appropriate, during root canal treatment, our experienced dentist will carefully remove all the pulp from your tooth and clean and disinfect the space. They will shape your root canals and fill them and the pulp chamber. Then they will fill or crown your tooth, restoring it to healthy, painless function. And the great news is that with modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable and don’t experience pain during their treatment.
Your dentist may recommend eating softer foods that are neither too hot nor too cold for a few days until the area is less sensitive after your root canal. The area around the tooth may be swollen. Your dentist may also advise you to avoid chewing for a few hours after your procedure until the numbness from the local anesthetic wears off to avoid accidentally biting your cheek or tongue.
Your root canal therapy will likely be spread out over two or even three appointments, taking about 90 minutes each. Your dentist will need time to remove the pulp entirely and any infected material, clean and sterilize the area, fill the tooth, and fit a crown if required. You will also likely need a follow-up appointment to make sure everything is in place and that your crown or filling aligns correctly with your bite.
Root canal therapy is a safe and effective way to save a tooth with infected or inflamed pulp. If left untreated, infection in the pulp of a tooth can travel into the rest of the body and even become life-threatening. The other option, removing the tooth, can cause difficulty eating or speaking normally, and can gradually damage neighboring teeth, gums, and bone.
Call today or schedule a consultation online to be seen by one of our qualified and experienced dentists here in Syracuse, Utah.