Endodontics/Root Canal Care
When the sensitive nerve of a tooth is affected by decay, trauma, or infection, root canal treatment and placement of a dental crown is often required to restore health and function. A root canal essentially saves the life of a tooth that might otherwise die and fall out, or need to be removed. Preserving the natural tooth with a root canal is typically preferable, as removing the tooth can have a potentially negative effect on the surrounding teeth and jawbone. Our dentist provides endodontic care for all types of root canal cases. While root canals are traditionally very successful procedures, Dr. Blackburn can also skillfully perform a root canal retreatment if a complication arises with a previously treated tooth.
Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
When the dental pulp on the inside of a tooth is inflamed or infected, root canal therapy can provide a comprehensive solution for treating and healing the internal portions of the tooth. When necessary, undergoing a root canal procedure can help:
- Relieve pain and sensitivity
- Eliminate damage, decay, and infection from the tooth
- Restore form and function of the tooth
- Help prevent the need for tooth extraction
- Save your natural tooth
Candidates for Root Canal Treatment
Patients in need of root canal therapy may experience the following symptoms:
- Formation of an abscess along the gums, near the root of the tooth
- Severe pain
- Tooth discoloration
- Difficulty chewing
- Persistent sensitivity to heat and cold
- Tenderness and inflammation along the gumline
Be aware that, in some instances, you may not notice any symptoms at all. If you are experiencing extreme tooth pain and are concerned that you may need a root canal, we encourage you to contact our practice to schedule an appointment.
The Root Canal Procedure
Before the procedure begins, Dr. Blackburn will thoroughly numb the tooth with local anesthetic. Next, Dr. Blackburn accesses the tooth root by creating an opening at the top of the tooth. Through this hole, he uses specialized endodontic tools to remove all of the tissue and bacteria from inside the root. Any decay affecting the tooth is also removed during this phase of treatment. The root is then filled and sealed to prevent bacteria and debris from re-entering the tooth. To finish restoring the form and function of the tooth, Dr. Blackburn will place a custom crown over the remaining natural tooth to provide added strength, protection, and support.
Depending on the complexity of your case and the technology used to complete your procedure, root canal therapy and the placement of your crown may be finished in the course of a single appointment or multiple visits. Custom restorations made using the CEREC® system can be fabricated within one appointment and may eliminate the need for multiple visits associated with your root canal.
Results of Root Canal Therapy
Initially after treatment, you may experience some tooth sensitivity related to residual inflammation; however, this response should diminish in intensity as the area continues to heal. Once completely healed, your restored tooth should function normally and appear natural. If you begin to notice any discomfort, inflammation, or infection at any time after a root canal, it is wise to schedule an appointment with Dr. Blackburn to have the tooth inspected. If root canal retreatment is deemed necessary, then a date for the procedure can be scheduled.
Root Canal Retreatment
Root canal retreatment is usually required when a previously treated tooth becomes damaged, decayed, or re-infected. Circumstances which may create the need for root canal retreatment can include the following:
- New fracture or decay in the tooth body
- Poorly fitted (leaking) crown
- Leakage in the root canal seal
- Previously untreated canals harboring bacteria (usually complex or undetected canals)
- Cracked crown with leaking filling
- Delayed restoration of a treated tooth
Retreatment involves the complete removal of the crown, seal, and filling material from the original root canal. Once removed, the tooth is treated again by thoroughly eliminating any infection, bacteria, and decay from the tooth. When clean, the tooth is filled, sealed, and restored.
Contact South River Dentistry
For more information about root canal therapy and retreatment procedures, we encourage you to contact our office. If you are in need of urgent dental care, a member of our friendly team can help you schedule an appointment as soon as possible.