Our teeth are tiny, complex hubs of nerve tissue and pulp. Every tooth has “tunnels” that travel from the center of the tooth down to the tip. These tunnels, called canals, contain nerve tissue. Sometimes the nerve tissues in these canals become infected, requiring therapy. Although the term “root canal” is often associated with pain, it is important to understand that it is the infected nerve itself that causes discomfort and that the procedure is relatively pain-free.
Catching an infected root early and scheduling a root canal therapy appointment can ultimately save you money… and your tooth! Dr. Mitesh Dhulab at Idlewild Family Dentistry offers years of experience in performing root canal therapy in Matthews, NC, and guarantees a relaxing and anxiety-free procedure.
What is this therapy?
Also known as endodontic therapy, this therapy is a procedure performed to remove infected nerve and tooth tissues. The procedure focuses on cleaning out and sealing the infected canal within the tooth to protect from future infection.
How can you tell when it is needed?
- Pain around the tooth
- Swelling of gums or areas around the tooth
- Darkening of a particular tooth
- Reoccurring pimples on the gums
What is the process?
This therapy generally consists of two parts: cleaning and sealing.
Once an infected nerve is detected, an X-Ray may be taken to determine the severity of the infection. Before beginning the procedure, local anesthetic may be applied (usually, there is little need for anesthetic because nerve endings are dead, however, use of an anesthetic often helps patients relax).
The infected tooth is isolated with a rubber dam, a sheet of rubber surrounding the tooth that is designed to keep the area dry. An “access hole” is then created by drilling a tiny hole into the top of the tooth down to the tip of the canal. The bacteria, decayed nerve tissue and other debris are then removed, and the inside of the canal is rinsed out thoroughly.
Once the canal is cleaned out, our dentist will use a sealer paste and rubber compound to fill in the space within the tooth (depending on the severity of the infection, this step may take place immediately following the cleaning or our dentist may wait up to a week to seal the tooth) If the sealing process requires a separate appointment, a temporary filling will be used to keep bacteria out of the newly cleaned tooth. After the inside of the tooth has been sealed, a dental filling or crown will be used to close the access hole on the tooth’s surface.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with an infected tooth, call us to schedule a dental exam. Ignoring the signs of an infected nerve can lead to swelling in the gums, face, and neck, bone loss near the tip of the infected root, and abscesses (pus-filled pockets) in the tooth and gums. Early detection can save you time, pain and money! Call us at (704) 893-0351 or visit our office in Indian Trail, NC to learn more about this therapy!