Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a procedure that removes bacteria and dying or dead tissue from the inside of a tooth. It is commonly performed to treat infected or badly decayed teeth, but it can also be used for cosmetic and restorative reasons. Without treatment, the infected tissue can cause severe tooth pain that won’t respond to over-the-counter toothache medications or antibiotics. In addition, a damaged tooth is more likely to develop an abscess, which can be very painful and requires prompt medical attention.
The dentist performing root canal therapy will numb the area with local anesthetics. These can be injected or applied topically. After the numbness has worn off, the dentist will drill an access hole in the affected tooth. Using a special tool called a dental file, the infected tissue is removed. The tooth is then cleaned with water or sodium hypochlorite to flush away any bacteria and debris. A root canal file is then placed in the access hole and is worked down the length of the root canal to clean and shape the inside surfaces. Water or sodium hypochlorite is used periodically to rinse the tooth during this process. After the root canals have been cleaned, they are filled with a rubber-like material called gutta percha and sealed with an adhesive cement. The tooth is then capped with a filling or crown, depending on its location in the mouth (molars and pre-molars are more often capped than front teeth).
Tooth pain is usually the first sign that you need a root canal therapy. The pain may be constant, or it may come and go throughout the day. It can get worse when you bite down or chew, and it can be sensitive to hot or cold foods. Some people also notice a dark stain on their tooth, which can indicate that the pulp has died or is infected.
If a root canal isn’t done promptly, the infection can spread to the bone that supports the tooth, leading to tooth loss. The resulting gap can leave the jaw susceptible to other dental problems, such as gum disease. Additionally, it can make eating and chewing difficult, and it can lead to an imbalance in the bite that can cause headaches and jaw pain.
If you think you have an infected or severely decayed tooth, contact Downey Dental Solutions for a root canal therapy appointment today. The office is in Downey, California and has been serving the community for years. While the practice has grown, it still maintains a very intimate, personal atmosphere. The doctors are very experienced with root canals and will do their best to restore your smile. In the meantime, take care of your teeth by a regular brushing schedule and flossing routine. You should also visit a hygienist twice a year to remove plaques and stains. If you need any additional oral health treatments, such as a dental implant or a Mouthguards, we’re here to help!