Did you know that a tooth can die? Many people are surprised to discover that their teeth are living organs, fed by a network of blood vessels and nerves from deep inside the tooth. However, occasionally an infection can become so severe that the blood vessels and nerves are no longer able to perform their job correctly and the tooth is no longer receiving blood and nutrients. This is when your tooth dies. Fortunately, a dead tooth no longer automatically means that it will require extraction. Here at Rowan Family Dentistry, we recommend a root canal for our patients who have damaged dental pulp. This can help preserve your tooth, giving it a second chance at remaining inside your mouth.
What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure?
We typically do not like to remove a tooth, as a missing tooth can lead to complications further down the road, such as teeth shifting and drifting into the vacant spot, causing further tooth loss. That's why we always try to save a tooth, even if it is severely infected or damaged. A root canal can help prevent a tooth from being removed by scraping out the infected or dead pulp and sealing the tooth with a crown.
During a root canal, we'll first numb the site up thoroughly to ensure that you do not experience any discomfort. If you do notice any pain, please let us know right away so we can give you more analgesic. Next, we'll place a thin layer of latex (or, for our patients with allergies, we'll use a hypoallergenic dental dam) over the tooth to help keep it dry. We'll then bore a tiny hole into your tooth with our tools to create an opening that allows us access to the inside of your tooth.
We'll then remove the pulp from your tooth carefully to make sure we're removing all of the infected material from inside it. We'll then shape the opening in preparation for filling. We will sometimes wash the area with antibiotics to help further treat any infection. Then we'll dry the opening, then fill it with a rubbery material called gutta-percha, which will seal the tooth. We'll then close off the tooth with a temporary filling as we wait for your crown to return to us from the laboratory. Once your permanent crown arrives, we'll remove the temporary filling and secure it over your tooth.
A root canal procedure generally takes at least two appointments to complete. While many of our patients may be nervous about experiencing pain, it is an entirely painless procedure. After the root canal, we may have you return to our office for x-rays to make sure it is holding up well. If you take care of your teeth, taking care to brush twice a day (for two minutes each time, with a soft-bristled toothbrush) and floss once a day, and keep up with your biannual dental appointments and cleanings, it should last for the rest of your life.
If left untreated, an infection can not only lead to the loss of your tooth, but it can also quickly spread and become deadly. If you have an infection in your tooth, it's critical that you call us here at Rowan Family Dentistry at (662) 598-0155 right away for an assessment of the infected tooth and, if we see that it's necessary, a consultation for a root canal procedure.
What our patients are saying about us
"I didn't think you could feel peaceful in a dentist office - somehow Rowan has managed to fix that. All the latest equipment (way less noise), comfortable atmosphere, everyone there smiles and talks to you, and they simply do a great job of informing you what's needed. I Highly recommend Rowan Family Dentistry!!" ~Shane S.
"My family loves Rowan Family Dentistry! They have always taken such great care of us over the years, from routine cleanings to braces on my whole family! We wouldn't go anywhere else!" ~Jessica H.