: Your teeth can last for a lifetime with the right care at home and routine appointments with your dentist. Despite your best efforts, a tooth can still be damaged by an infection. To save it from needing to be removed, you may need a root canal. Although they have a bad reputation for being painful, you have nothing to fear. New advancements in dentistry now make them no worse than a traditional filling. At Maple Valley Dental Clinic, we can save your smile with root canal therapy.
What is a root canal? Root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp) and cleaning and disinfecting it, then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma to it. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root.
Do I need a root canal? Root canal treatment, also referred to as endodontic therapy, is an effective and safe treatment for teeth whose pulp has become inflamed or infected. It can also be required in other situations to help save and restore a tooth. Your tooth is composed of 3 layers. The hard layer your see is the enamel, which protects the dentin that lies beneath it. The dentin contains tiny tubes that connect to the inner layer, known as the pulp. When decay extends beyond the enamel and dentin, it can cause your pulp to become inflamed and infected. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms that may indicate you need a root canal, such as:
Even if you have one or more of these symptoms that does not mean a root canal is in your future. Your dentist performs a comprehensive consultation to ensure it is in your best interest before making their recommendation.
What can I expect? After your initial consultation, you are scheduled for your procedure. We remove the areas of damage and extract the pulp using special dental tools. Your tooth is then sterilized before it is sealed with a material called gutta-percha. This helps seal out bacteria while also improving the integrity of your tooth.
To give your tooth an added layer of protection and to restore its function, a custom-made dental crown will be placed over it. This is a cap that covers the entire surface of your tooth to the gum line. A digital impression is taken to craft your crown to meet your exact size and shape needs. All-ceramic material allows it to be customized to match the color of your teeth. It can take the dental lab a couple of weeks to create it to meet your specifications, so a temporary one is placed over your tooth in the meantime. When your final one is ready, you return to our office to have your permanent crown bonded to your tooth.
Save your smile today: If you have a bad tooth, do not have it removed. We can save it from an extraction with root canal therapy. Give us a call at Maple Valley Dental Clinic to schedule your consultation.