When the infection has spread to the innermost portion of the tooth (pulp), your dentist suggests you to undergo root canal treatment to save the tooth. Dr. Meenakshi Gambhir is an Endodontist (root canal specialist) at Dental Lifeline, doing single-sitting root canal treatment, saving your valuable time, with more successful results. The development of nickel-titanium instruments and modern methods of filling and sealing the root canal system, now allow us to complete most root canal therapies in one visit, saving valuable time of our patients as well improving the success rate of the treatment.
An extraction is truly the last resort!
Some indications of the need for root canal treatment may be:
The success rates for Root Canal Therapy have been reported to be as high as 95%.
It consists of:
The removal of the infected pulp or the nerves that lies within the root of the tooth. It is this infected pulp tissue that causes pain and ultimately abscess. The endodontist will examine the tooth and x-rays before numbing the area around the affected tooth. First of all access is obtained to the nerve by establishing a small opening in the top of the tooth, under a local anesthesia.
The length of the root canal is determined with the help of small needles and the infected pulp is removed.
After that, the canals where the nerve is located are reshaped and prepared to accept a special root canal filling material. The number of visits necessary to complete your root canal will depend upon the infected state of the nerve, and the complexity of the procedure.
The final step in your root canal will be the sealing of the root canal with a sterile, plastic material called gutta percha in order to prevent possible future infection.
If treated early, root canal therapy need not be uncomfortable. With the use of local anesthetics, the entire procedure can be totally painless.
Sometimes when there has been long standing infection or abscess, there may be some soreness associated with the root canal visit. If this should turn out to be true, you will be given specific instructions to follow to minimize the discomfort. When an infection is present, it may be necessary to take an antibiotic. If pain should be present, analgesics may need to be prescribed.
The tooth will then possibly need a post and core and a crown in order to re-establish normal form and function. This decision will be based upon several additional factors.