At the Dolphin Dental Group of Seminole and Largo, we may recommend a root canal to help save your damaged tooth. The pulp, which is the soft tissue in the middle of your tooth that contains nerves, blood and lymph vessels, has become diseased and injured and cannot heal itself.
How Did My Tooth Get Damaged?
The two most common causes of pulpal infection are deep cavities and fractures or broken teeth. Both allow the pulp to be exposed to bacteria that exist naturally in saliva. This bacteria cases infection, which ultimately results in the pulp dying. Without treatment, the infection can eventually spread to the root tip and pass into the jawbone, causing an abscess (pus pocket). The abscess may then damage the bone that surrounds the tooth. It's the pressure inside the bone and the adjacent ligament surrounding the tooth that causes pain.
What Are the Steps of Root Canal Therapy?
Dolphin Dental of Seminole and Largo uses small endodontic instruments called files to carefully and meticulously remove the infected nerve, arteries and veins that make up the pulp of the tooth. We then replace the pulp with a stable filling material. After we evaluate the tooth for the need for a post (to retain a buildup), we generally prepare the tooth for a crown. Since each tooth is different, the amount of time it takes to complete the treatment varies, but it is common for the treatment to be completed within two to three appointments.
Although each case is different, the summary of the procedure, treatment and restoration often involve three steps:
What Are My Alternatives?
You could opt to delay treatment, but remember that an infected tooth will never heal on its own. And as it gets worse, it will continue to be a source of infection that weakens your immune system. This can affect your entire body. The damage to the bone and the swelling inside the bone can also be excruciatingly painful, and even life-threatening. We could extract the infected tooth, which would serve as a short-term solution. While it does remove the source of infection, it sets off a chain reaction of shifting teeth, which causes other more serious and costly dental problems
- We remove the infection to promote healing and replace the pulp with a filling material.
- We place a post in the tooth to strengthen it.
- We crown the tooth to protect it.
What Are My Endodontics Alternatives in Seminole and Largo?
You could opt to delay treatment, but remember that an infected tooth will never heal on its own. As it gets worse, it will continue to be a source of infection that weakens your immune system. This can affect your entire body. The damage to the bone and the internal swelling can also be excruciatingly painful, or even life-threatening. Extracting the infected tooth serves as a short-term solution, and while it does remove the source of the infection, it can set off a chain reaction of shifting teeth. This can cause other more serious and costly dental problems.
At Dolphin Dental we advise that none of our Largo or Seminole patients delay treatment unless we recommend this as a viable option.
The Procedure at Dolphin Denta
First, we'll give local anesthetic so the entire endodontics procedure will be comfortable for you. Once you are thoroughly numb, we will place a rubber dam around the tooth that we are going to treat. This isolates it from the rest of your mouth, and keeps it dry and accessible to us. A rubber dam also prevents debris from falling to the back of your throat.
To get at the infection, Dolphin Dental uses a dental hand piece to make an opening through the top of your tooth, down into the pulp chamber. We carefully clean out the infected tissue, and prepare the inside of the root canal to receive the filling material, using tiny dental instruments called files. We may also place medication in the problem area to kill the infection-causing bacteria. During the procedure, we’ll occasionally take X-rays to check our positioning and to make sure we have removed all of the infected pulp tissue.
For all of our Seminole and Largo patients, depending on the situation and the amount of infection present, we may have you back for a second endodontics appointment. When we're sure the root canals are completely clean and free of infection, we'll fill them with a filling material.
Post and Core
If the decay or trauma that necessitated the root canal left us with a small amount of remaining tooth structure, we may also recommend a post and core. Posts come in a variety of materials and lengths, but are designed to be cemented or bonded within the root of a tooth. They serve to reinforce the tooth and anchor the core that replaces the missing tooth structure. A crown is often the final step to fully restore the tooth.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Root canal therapy has an undeserved reputation as an uncomfortable and tedious endodontics procedure. But at Dolphin Dental of Seminole and Largo, our modern dental techniques, combined with our commitment to your comfort, makes root canal therapy a dependable procedure that's comfortable for you.