Root Canal Treatment
Nobody wants to hear the word root canal and it is understandable why. Over the years root canals have become associated with pain and everyone dreads the possibility of needing the procedure done. However, root canal treatments have improved greatly over the years and many patients are surprised how uneventful the procedure can be.
Root canal treatment is removal of the infected nerve inside the tooth. The procedure is commonly required when decay (bacteria) is left unattended in a tooth and spreads to the nerve. Once the bacteria reach the nerve they can cause great pain, infection and swelling. To treat the infected tooth the central nerve tissue has to be removed and the canal the tissue was occupying filled to prevent future infections. With the advent of new technology and improvements in anesthetics root canals procedures have become much quicker and painless.
The best way to prevent the need for a root canal is to treat decay (bacteria) on a tooth as soon as it is detected. Not treating decay, or delaying treatment, increases the likelihood that the nerve can get infected and require root canal treatment. In most cases the need for a root canal is not detected until a patient starts experiencing severe pain. To avoid this look for any signs of sensitivity to hot or cold, tenderness of the gums, or swelling. They can often be signs that the tooth has an infected nerve and needs evaluation by a dental professional. Keep in mind the longer the symptoms are ignore the greater the infection may get causing the tooth harder to get numb by anesthetics, making the procedure more complicated for you and your dentist.
After the root canal treatment the tooth will be relieved of infection and pain free. Now the tooth has no nerve the tooth will by symptom free after healing is completed. Root canal treated teeth require the placement of a crown to prevent fracture. This is because the same channel that the nerve occupies is where the blood vessels that supply and nourish the tooth are also located. Once they are removed the tooth becomes very brittle and prone to fracture. To prevent this a crown in placed on the tooth to stabilize the tooth and restore the structure that was lost to decay.
In some cases root canal treatment has to be done in two steps. In a two-step root canal treatment, the first step is to stabilize the infection by placing medication into the canals and placing a temporary filling on the tooth. This called Palliative treatment and relieves the patient of pain and reduces the infection and bacteria in the area. Then the patient returns in about two weeks and the root canal procedure completed.
This type of treatment is usually required when the infection has spread to the underlying bone or if the patient is experiencing severe pain and swelling. Once again the best way to avoid needing any type of root canal treatment taking care of any decay upon detection.
If you are suffering from a tooth ache or swelling emergency appointments are available 24/7. Call (310) 903-7786 to have emergency consultation or schedule emergency visit.