Gentle Root Canal Therapy
If your tooth becomes infected, root canal therapy can be performed to save your natural tooth and protect you from reinfection. The idea of undergoing root canal therapy might make you anxious, but rest assured that Dr. Maniscalco at Maniscalco Cosmetic & General Dentistry will make the experience painless and stress-free.
Timely treatment for an infection can save you from serious consequences and restore comfort and function to your teeth. Read on to learn more about root canal therapy and what you can expect from the procedure.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a restorative dental procedure that removes a bacterial infection from the core of a tooth. It’s helpful to know the layers of a tooth to understand the goals of root canal therapy.
Each of your teeth are made up of three layers:
- The enamel is the visible white layer on the outside of your tooth.
- The dentin is a hard layer of tissue beneath the enamel.
- The pulp is a soft layer of tissue that contains the nerves and blood vessels of your tooth and extends down through the root canal.
When an infection reaches the pulp of your tooth through a crack or deep cavity, root canal therapy can allow for your tooth to be saved rather than requiring extraction.
The Root Canal Procedure
If Dr. Maniscalco determines that you need root canal therapy, we’ll schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. Your therapy will be completed in the following stages:
- First, we will use a local anesthetic to ensure that you feel no pain throughout the procedure. Sedation is available if you suffer from dental anxiety.
- Dr. Maniscalco will create a small entryway at the top of your infected tooth.
- Using specialized tools, Dr. Maniscalco will gently remove the infected pulp of your tooth.
- A dental composite will be applied to seal the root canal.
- We’ll cap your tooth with a natural-looking dental crown to prevent future damage or infection.
Root canal therapy is extremely effective in treating an infected tooth, resolving painful symptoms and avoiding the need for an extraction. After treatment, you’ll be able to eat and smile comfortably with your tooth protected from harm. A grown adult tooth won’t miss the removed layer of pulp, it’ll still be nourished by the surrounding tissue of your mouth.
Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy
An infected tooth can cause several uncomfortable symptoms. You may require root canal therapy if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Toothache pain that extends to the face, neck, or ears
- Pain while biting and chewing
- Pain in a chipped or cracked tooth
- Swelling of the face or gums
- Darkening of the tooth or surrounding gum tissue
- Painful sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
Don’t let these symptoms go untreated! If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, Dr. Maniscalco will be able to complete your root canal therapy in a single appointment. Your procedure can last from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the complexity of your individual case. If you have multiple infected teeth that require treatment, your procedures may be spread over two appointments.
Modern root canal therapy is almost entirely painless. Effective local anesthetics will completely numb your mouth for the duration of your procedure. Dental sedation is available if your worries are keeping you from getting the treatment you need.
Once your root canal therapy is complete, any minor pain you experience during recovery will be manageable with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Contact us if you experience any serious pain after your procedure, we will investigate the cause and help provide relief.
If root canal therapy has been recommended, get treatment as quickly as possible. Failing to do so could cause painful symptoms to worsen and make saving your tooth impossible.
An infected tooth will not heal on its own and cannot be cured with medication. Untreated tooth infections can spread to other parts of your body including your jaw, blood, and brain—this can result in dangerous complications that can be difficult and costly to treat.