Treatment of Root Canal Disease

A root canal procedure limits the infection and keeps it from destroying the tooth. During the root canal treatment procedure, the dentist removes the inflamed or infected tissue, carefully cleans, disinfects, and shapes the root canal space inside the tooth, and then fills and seals this space.

It may take one or more appointments to complete the procedure. A protective restoration should be placed after root canal treatment has been completed in order to restore the tooth to function and help prevent tooth fracture.

At Kneib Dentistry, we think of a root canal as washing the invasive bacteria out of the root, filling it with a biocompatible material that soothes the area, then sealing it back up again. Top it off with a solid filling or a crown, and you're as good as new. That means you get to keep your tooth. And that's a good thing.

Root Canal Therapy

Many people flinch when their dentists tell them they need root canal therapy. While dentists are sympathetic to fears of pain, at Kneib Dentistry we also want you to know that root canal therapy has three purposes:

  1. Stop the toothache
  2. Prevent bacteria and pain from spreading into the jaw
  3. Maintain the original tooth instead of replacing it with an implant or bridge

The root canal is actually a channel that runs from the root of the tooth, which connects to the bone, up to the top surface of the tooth. The canal contains blood vessels, nerves, and the complex cells that make up the living tissue inside the tooth. This lifeline inside the tooth is called the pulp.

When a tooth is decayed or cracked, bacteria can get to the pulp. The acid from the bacteria irritates the pulp and it becomes inflamed; it's the same process you watch when other parts of your body become infected. When the pulp tissue becomes inflamed, it's harder for blood to flow to the tissue, and the resulting pressure creates pain inside your tooth.

Most Common Symptoms of Root Canal Disease

Root canal disease can manifest itself with a wide variety and combination of symptoms. Common symptoms of root canal disease include:

  1. Lingering sensitivity to cold liquids
  2. Lingering sensitivity to hot liquids
  3. Sensitivity to sweets
  4. Pain to biting pressure
  5. Pain that is referred from a tooth to another area, such as the neck, temple, or the ear
  6. Spontaneous toothache, such as that experienced while reading a magazine, watching television, etc.
  7. Constant or intermittent pain
  8. Severe pain
  9. Throbbing pain
  10. Pain that may occur in response to atmospheric pressure changes, such as when flying or scuba diving
  11. Pain that may occur in response to postural changes, such as when going from a standing to a reclining position
  12. Swelling

If you have any of these symptoms, it would be wise to visit us at Kneib Dentistry because you might have root canal disease oranother dental problem. Some of these symptoms may also be attributable to decay, defective fillings, periodontal diseases, cracked teeth, or other tooth or bite-related problems. On other occasions, the symptoms may even be caused by disorders that are not related to the teeth.

For more information about how Kneib Dentistry can help you with your root canal problems, contact us and we will be happy to talk with you.

Root Canal FAQs

How does a tooth get infected?

There can be a number of causes for an infected tooth, including decay from a cavity, cracks or chips in the tooth, or tooth trauma. Bacteria penetrate the cracks and weak spots of the tooth and attack the nerve. The symptoms of an infected tooth include sensitivity, toothaches, pain when biting/applying pressure to the tooth, and swelling. A consultation with Kneib Dentistry can determine whether your infection requires root canal treatment.

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