Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure used to treat infected or inflamed tooth pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue inside of the tooth that contains nerve endings and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it can cause pain and swelling in the tooth. Root canal therapy removes the infected or inflamed pulp from the tooth, cleans and seals the space with a filling material, and protects the tooth with a crown. This preserves the tooth and prevents further infection.
At Grand River Family Dentistry, your tooth will be crowned after your root canal procedure.
Did You Know?
The existence of root canals was first noted in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard in his book “Le Chirurgien Dentiste”. He was a French physician who is considered to be “the father of modern dentistry.”
Do I need root canal therapy?
You may need root canal therapy if you have a tooth that is:
- Severely decayed
- Cracked or broken
- Damaged by trauma
Ultimately, root canal therapy is needed anytime the dental pulp has become inflamed or infected. Some symptoms of a pulp infection can include:
- Severe toothache pain that radiates to the jaw, neck, or ear
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Swelling in the gum tissue around the tooth
- Tenderness in the gum tissue around the tooth
- A small bump on the gums near the affected tooth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see your Detroit dentist at Grand River Family Dentistry as soon as possible. Only your dentist can determine if root canal therapy is needed.
Does root canal therapy hurt?
Despite the negative reputation of root canals, root canal therapy is usually not painful and is similar to getting a dental filling. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around the tooth. You may feel some pressure during the procedure, but this is usually not painful.
What can I expect when having root canal therapy at Grand River Family Dentistry?
When having root canal therapy at Grand River Family Dentistry, you can expect your dentist to take X-rays of the tooth to check for decay or infection. If a pulp infection is identified, then your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth.
An opening is made in the top or side of the affected tooth so that the infected or inflamed pulp can be removed. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and sealed with a filling material known as gutta percha. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth to protect it from further damage.
What can I expect after my procedure?
Post-procedure, the tooth will be crowned. You may also experience some soreness in your jaw. This is normal and is a result of the inflammation caused by the initial infection. In most cases, the soreness will go away within a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed for a few days to allow the area to heal. If you have any questions or concerns after having root canal therapy, please call our office and we would be happy to help.