A root canal is a treatment of the center of a tooth that is inflamed, infected, or dead. The center of the tooth, called the pulp, is a soft substance that consists of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. Symptoms of infection include visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, or pain in the tooth and gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact our dental office.
Dr. Berwitz starts by taking an x-ray of the tooth. If it is determined that you need a root canal treatment, we will schedule 1 or 2 appointments based on the size, duration of an abscess, and other factors.
Before starting root canal therapy, local anesthesia is administered to ensure your complete comfort. A dental dam is placed on the infected site to isolate the affected area. A small opening is made through the top of the tooth to gain access to the pulp. The pulp is removed from the tooth chamber and canals. The canals are then cleaned with a disinfecting solution. X-rays may be taken throughout the procedure to ensure each canal is being adequately treated.
Once the canals are cleaned, a temporary filling may be placed in the opening until it can be replaced by a permanent filling. After the root canal is completed, the tooth will need a crown to protect it from fracturing.
After the procedure, your tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days. This discomfort may be relieved with over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications. Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until you have a full restoration.
Root canal therapy can preserve a patient’s tooth for a lifetime. It is a highly successful procedure with more than a 95% success rate.
Be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Berwitz to ensure your treatment is healing correctly. If a problem occurs, contact our dental office. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene daily.