Root Canals

root canal

Root canal therapy becomes necessary when the inner nerve of a tooth becomes affected by decay or infection. When this happens, the tooth may become extremely sensitive to both pressure and temperature, and intense pain can be expected. In the initial stages of decay and infection, it is possible that no symptoms would be present. However, in the advanced stages of decay and infection an abscess (pimple-like inflammation on the gums) will form.

When confronting this type of decay or infection, the patient has two options: pull the affected tooth or save the tooth through root canal therapy. When extracting a decayed or infected tooth, significant and costly dental problems will arise for adjacent teeth. In the end, tooth extraction may cause more problems than it will solve. Root canal therapy is a much more desirable alternative, as it will provide full functionality to the tooth and mouth, and will not cause any future problems with adjacent teeth.

Advantages

The restoration that root canal therapy provides will usually last a lifetime. It will provide full functionality back to your tooth and mouth. There may be a need in the future to retreat the tooth, but this would only be necessary if a new, separate infection arose. The reasons a dentist will recommend root canal therapy include the following:

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Frequently Asked Questions

 A “root canal” refers to the tiny, narrow passageways that branch from a central, hollow space in your tooth (called the pulp chamber) down to the ends of the tooth roots. The term can also be used as a shorthand for “root canal treatment” — that is, the procedure used to save the tooth if the soft tissue deep inside of it (called pulp) becomes acutely inflamed or infected.

If tooth pulp becomes inflamed or infected because of decay or injury, the tissue will need to be removed in order to save the tooth and stop the infection from spreading. 

You could have the whole tooth extracted, but like mentioned above, it’s always better to try to save your tooth/teeth! Saving the tooth can prevent other troubles from occurring later on; these could include bite problems from teeth shifting position, difficulty eating, and loss of jawbone volume and density.

The procedure normally causes no more discomfort that a filling would. The infections that make the treatment necessary in the first place are often painful because they are inflaming tissue that has lots of nerves and therefore is very sensitive. Root canal treatment actually relieves this pain!

Simply put, keep your teeth decay-free by brushing and flossing every day. Ensure your diet isn’t filled with high sugar foods and/or drinks. And of course, have regular, professional cleanings at Gregorich & Matack and exams if needed. 

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Patient Forms

To help you prepare for and save time at your first dental visit, the following forms are available to download, fill out and bring to your scheduled visit.

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