Root canals are often necessary to save teeth with severely infected dental pulps. Dr. Rinando offers root canal therapy for patients using state-of-the-art endodontic equipment that accelerates healing while enhancing her ability to thoroughly remove all infection and restore health to avoid extracting the tooth.
Signs of a Serious Tooth Infection
Symptoms of an infected dental pulp that may require a root canal include:
- Persistent and severe toothache
- Darkening or other discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling of gums around the tooth
- Increasing sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Pain that radiates from the affected tooth into your head, ear or jaw. Molars with infected pulps may radiate pain that feels like an earache instead of a toothache.
Tooth Pulp Infection
Tooth decay initially damages dental enamel but will eventually reach the interior of the tooth unless the decay is treated professionally. Types of pulp infections requiring root canal include:
Irreversible pulpitis–intense, sudden pain and swelling are signs of progressive or irreversible pulp inflammation. When left untreated, pulpitis may result in widespread infection of the connective or gum tissue.
Dental pulp calcification (stones)–pulp calcification causes extreme pain and hypersensitivity due to compression of dental nerves. Root canal therapy is necessary to remove calcified tissues.
Tooth pulp exposure–pulp exposure happens when cracks or cavities expose the pulp to food particles, bacteria and hot/cold temperatures. Unrelenting toothache pain is the most common symptom of pulp exposure, which can be eliminated by root canal or extraction of the tooth if the damage is too severe.
How a Root Canal is Performed
Dr. Rinando thoroughly numbs the tooth and surrounding gums with anesthetic so patients do not feel any discomfort during the procedure.
First, an access is created to where the infection exists. During the access stage, Dr. Rinando will also remove decayed portions of the tooth.
Next, Dr. Rinando will disinfect and shape the root canals and pulp chamber of the tooth. All infected nerve tissue is carefully removed and the canals are slightly enlarged and disinfected to accommodate the filling and sealing phase.
Irrigation and Packing–the Final Step
Dr. Rinando then irrigates the canals prior to filling the interior of the tooth with gutta percha, a gummy sealant used in finalizing a root canal treatment. Teeth undergoing root canals are typically given permanent dental crowns as part of the final restoration process.
Recovering from a Root Canal
Minor swelling and tenderness is common after a root canal but usually subsides after a few days. Taking ibuprofen helps relieve pain but Dr. Rinando may prescribe stronger pain medication and/or antibiotics following the procedure. Root canal recipients should avoid chewing on the tooth until a dental crown has been placed over the tooth. Any excessive bleeding, swelling or severe pain should be reported immediately to Dr. Rinando.