Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth has begun to decay or is infected. In order to save the tooth, the living tissue inside the tooth—pulp, nerves, bacteria, and any decay along with it—is removed and the tooth is filled with special medicated dental materials that restore the tooth to its full function.
The Benefit of Root Canals
Root canal therapy is often the most cost-effective and successful treatment for a failing tooth. Extracting teeth can often be more costly and lead to problems in adjacent teeth. Root canal treatment has an extremely high success rate and usually lasts a lifetime.
Root Canal Procedure
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments to our office. During the procedure, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the numbed tooth to keep it dry and saliva-free.
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An access opening will be made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files will be placed into the opening, one at a time. The pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria will be removed. If there is tooth decay present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with a permanent filling. If additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
After about a week, you will return to our office so that the roots and inside cavity of your tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on the top of the tooth. A crown will also need to be placed on the tooth to keep it from breaking and to restore it to its full function.
After treatment, you tooth may still be sensitive. But don’t worry—the sensitivity is temporary and it will subside as inflammation diminishes and your tooth has healed.
You may need root canal therapy if you have any of the following symptoms:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Severe toothache pain.
- Swelling and/or tenderness.
Sometimes no symptoms are noticeably present before you need a root canal. That’s why we recommend coming in for a general dental health checkup every six months so we can catch problems as soon as possible.
Get Help for Toothaches in Florissant!
Contact our Florissant dentist office near St. Louis and Hazelwood, MO, if you have a toothache or any of these symptoms to discuss the best treatment.