Root Canal in Boynton Beach
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment, also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, is used to save an infected or damaged tooth and avoid having to remove it. A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth and becomes infected. Regular cleanings and checkups detect and prevent problems early on. Trauma can also cause the nerve of a tooth to be deeply damaged. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected, even extending through the root tip, and it begins to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is called an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system, making it very dangerous and painful. Symptoms of infected pulp may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms, and you are unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) is filled to prevent any further infection. Crowns are usually recommended to cover and restore a tooth after root canal therapy.
Symptoms that may Require a Root Canal
- Swelling of the gums
- Tenderness of the gums
- Hot and cold sensitivity
- Sensitivity to sweet foods and drinks
- Tooth pain
- Abscess on the gums
How is a Root Canal Done?
Initially, your dentist will apply significant local anesthesia to the area to help numb your infected tooth prior to the procedure. From there, your dentist will enter the tooth via a specialized drill to access the nerve of the infected tooth. Once the affected nerve is removed, the canals of the tooth will be cleaned and the void is filled with a biologically inert substance. Your dentist is likely to recommend adding a crown to the tooth to further protect it. If a significant amount of the structure of the infected tooth is lost, your dentist may even suggest a post be placed into the tooth to give it additionally stability moving forward.
What is Endontic Surgery?
In the event of a severe infection or significant decay, surgery may be needed to save the tooth. Endontic surgery locates fractures and previously undetected issues that would not have appeared on an X-Ray. Furthermore, surgery can assist in removing calcium buildups within the root canal, as well as treating damaged bone.
What to Expect after a Root Canal
After the initial treatment, your dentist will likely apply a filling. Following the procedure, your tooth may be sensitive, but this will subside as the healing process continues. At this point, proper dental hygiene will be crucial for maintaining the integrity of the root canal procedure as well as preventing future issues.