Tampa Root Canal Facts – What You Need To know
Enlow and Vance Dental Partners Tampa, Fl
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What is a root canal?
Inside of a tooth’s hard outer shell is a nourishing pulp of blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves. Anatomically, the pulp of a tooth is comprised of soft tissue containing the blood supply that, when vital, nourishes the tooth. This pulp has channels that run from the coronal portion (visible part) of the tooth, through the root of the tooth then exits into the surrounding bone. Most commonly, Root Canal Therapy, also called Endodontics, is used to treat infection. When pulp becomes infected it is necessary to clean out the entire canal leading from the infected area to the bone. Root canal therapy, simply defined, is the process of removing the pulp (central core) of a tooth, sterilizing the inside of a tooth in order to clear the infection and save a tooth. The root canal procedure is commonly performed and has a very high success rate.
Are There Other Reasons for a Root Canal?
Yes. Root Canals may be suggested for a number of reasons; severe decay, injury or trauma, spontaneous pain or throbbing, protracted sensitivity to hot or cold foods and some restorative purposes may prompt a root canal. What Caused My Tooth Infection? The pulp of a tooth is vulnerable to injury from deep decay, trauma, or even multiple and extensive dental procedures on the same tooth. When a tooth is injured, disease-causing bacteria may grow inside the pulp and spread through the roots into the supporting jawbone at the root tips. As pus accumulates an abscess forms, destroying the bone around the roots.
How Will a Patient Know if a Root Canal is Needed?
Listen to your dentist and ask questions about your treatment. Infection frequently causes a number of symptoms including severe pain, dull ache, throbbing, sensitivity to hot or cold, pain when chewing, swelling, or tenderness in the surrounding gums. In some cases, however, the pulp may die so slowly that pain goes unnoticed. In some cases the infection can actually become life threatening.
Does a Root Canal Hurt?
No, not usually. Endodontic Treatment at Enlow and Vance Dental Partners can usually be accomplished using local anesthetic. If infection has been allowed to become acute there may be need for additional sedation options. Enlow and Vance Dental Partner’s in Tampa, Fl offer a variety of sedation options and can be tailored to individual patient needs. IV Sedation, for example, allows the procedure to be a pleasantly forgettable and a painless experience for our Tampa area patients.
How is the Root Canal Procedure Performed?
After the tooth is anesthetized, a thin sheet of elastic material called a rubber dam is placed over the tooth to be treated. The rubber dam will keep the tooth isolated and free from salivary contaminants as well as keeping dental debris from collecting on the tongue and in the back of the mouth. An opening is made in the tooth providing access to the pulp chamber and into the roots. The dentist measures the length of the roots using x-rays and an electronic apex locator. These measurements guide the dentist as he cleans the debris, shapes, disinfects and then seals the canal with a bio-inert (non-reactive) root filling material called gutta percha. A root canal may be sensitive for the first 24-72 hours after Endodontic Therapy. If the root canal cannot be completed in one visit then a temporary filling will be placed until the tooth is deemed free of infection and the root canal can be filled and finished. An antibiotic may also be prescribed to help the body kill any remaining infection in the bone.
What Happens After the Root Canal Treatment?
The dentist restores the tooth. This two-part restoration is accomplished through a build-up and a crown. The crown is essential to protect the tooth.
What Are Alternatives to Root Canal Therapy?
The tooth can be extracted. Extracting a tooth, however, leaves a hole or space in the mouth. If that space is left untreated the opposing and adjacent teeth will move causing a cascade of bite problems. Restoring the space left from the loss of the tooth with a fixed bridge, a removable partial, or a dental implant are typically more expensive that the Root Canal, build-up and crown, but may be preferred in certain circumstances.
How Long Will the Root Canal Last?
The restored tooth may last a lifetime but must be properly maintained just as any other tooth must be maintained. Because the nerves have been removed from the tooth, additional problems such as decay may not elicit pain. Appropriate dental recall maintenance visits and X-rays must be prioritized to detect further disease and tooth or bone destruction.
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Enlow and Vance Dental Partners
16654 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618