Root CanalPort Orange, FL
Root canal treatments are the most common endodontic procedure. We typically recommend that patients receive a root canal when a tooth, pulp, or root is infected or diseased. The treatment involves attempting to save and restore a severely damaged or infected tooth. Root canal therapy, especially in the early stages of decay, can eliminate the need for more invasive, irreversible procedures such as endodontic surgeries or tooth extractions.
At Sondra Avant DDS, we offer root canal treatments for patients experiencing pain in the teeth and gums. Our endodontist will conduct an examination and take X-rays to determine the case and its cause. We will develop a full treatment plan, including the root canal and any other treatments required for their case during the first appointment. To learn more about the procedure or schedule an appointment, call (386) 304-4620 today.
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
To understand root canal treatment and what causes a need for it, it is important to know the tooth’s structure. Teeth consist of the tooth’s surface (enamel and dentin), the pulp, and the roots. The pulp consists of nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels that help teeth grow. The tooth’s roots are responsible for anchoring the teeth in position. Decay, infection, and disease in the pulp or roots calls for root canal treatment.
Decay that spreads through to the dental pulp, or innermost part of the tooth, causes inflammation and infection in the pulp and roots. An endodontist, often referred to as a root canal specialist, carefully removes the pulp beforecleaning, disinfecting, and shaping the root canals. We primarily use root canals to save teeth from further decay or extraction.
Symptoms Indicating a Need for Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp is injured, infected, or inflamed. However, this can only be seen through X-rays and diagnosed by a dentist. It is important to know when symptoms are a cause of severe decay or infection as they can indicate a need for root canal treatment.
Patients with an infected pulp may experience symptoms such as severe toothaches when biting and chewing, pain when applying pressure, prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold stimuli, tooth discoloration, swelling and tenderness in the gums, and persistent or recurring pimples in the gums. Depending on the tooth, the severity of the case, and the patient’s health, symptoms may be overwhelming or not present at all. It is important to relay all symptoms to the endodontist, even if symptoms have subsided.
Factors That May Lead to a Root Canal
There are many lifestyle and nutritional habits that could lead to infection and inflammation, causing a need for a root canal. As decay generally leads to pulp and root infection, foods and beverages that cause cavities are likely a culprit. Also, poor oral care, including brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings, allows decay and infection to spread more easily. This lack of care can compromise the tooth and cause a need for root canal treatment.
Oral conditions may also lead to or cause unhealthy pulp and roots. According to Healthline, common causes of damage include:
- Deep decay due to an untreated cavity
- Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth
- A chip or crack in the tooth
- An injury to the tooth (the pulp may be damaged even if the injury does not crack the tooth)
- A faulty crown
What the Procedure Entails
Before the Procedure
Preparing a tooth for root canal treatment requires a few steps. Prior to treating the tooth, we will take a few X-rays to get a clear picture of the tooth and surrounding bone. We administer local anesthesia to keep patients feeling comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure. Lastly, a small latex or rubber sheet is put on the tooth to keep it dry and free of any bacteria and to single out the tooth, keeping all other teeth from view.
During the Procedure
Once the patient is completely numb and the tooth is ready for treatment, root canal therapy begins. The procedure takes anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the case. Root canal treatment consists of:
- Creating an opening in the top of the tooth
- Removing the tooth’s nerve from inside the tooth and in the areas in the root, known as the root canal
- Cleaning inside the tooth and each root canal with a special germ-killing medicine
- Filling the root canals with a rubber-like material to seal them against future infection
- Placing a temporary filling on the tooth to protect it until a definitive restoration such as a permanent filling or crown can be placed, usually by a primary dentist
After the Procedure
Patients may still feel numb following the treatment. The tooth and surrounding gums may also be sore and sensitive for a few days while the area heals and recovers. Most patients are prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection and pain relievers to reduce inflammation, pain, and discomfort.
Schedule a Visit Today
Root canal treatments are available at our office. The Sondra Avant team looks forward to treating you and relieving your pain and symptoms today. Call our office at (386) 304-4620 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals
Are root canals painful?
Root canal treatments have advanced tremendously over the past decade, with new technologies allowing dentists to scan and treat patients virtually pain-free. The local anesthesia numbs a large area around the tooth, gums, and surrounding bone and tissue, providing patients with comfort and ease during treatment. Some patients may experience soreness or tenderness after the numbing agent wears off, but these symptoms go away within the first few days.
In what cases is a root canal required?
Root canals are primarily intended to treat a cracked tooth from injury or genetics, a deep cavity, or issues from a previous filling. A root canal may be required when a patient is at risk of losing the tooth or teeth due to a severe infection, abscess, or inflammation of the root. In most cases, when an extraction is necessary, a root canal can help save and restore the tooth’s functionality.
What are early signs of decay or damage?
Early signs or symptoms patients may experience include increased sensitivity to hot and cold stimuli in the infected area; persistent pain especially when chewing; swelling, redness, and tenderness in the gum area; easy chipping or cracking of the compromised tooth. Signs apparent in dental scans include decay protruding into the dental pulp, infection in the pulp or root chambers, and any inflammation or abscess in the infected tooth root. The scan allows us to determine a proper diagnosis for the patient’s case, their severity level, and a plan of action.
What causes recurring root canals?
During root canal treatment, the dental pulp and surrounding tissues are removed then sealed off. The infection or inflammation could spread to surrounding bone, tissues, and roots. Also, because there is some trauma that goes into the treatment, the tooth is left more susceptible for future decay. With proper care and hygiene habits, a root canal treatment with proper cap, sealant, or tooth replacement can last up to ten years.
What are signs of an improper or failed root canal?
The most evident sign of a failed or improperly treated root canal is the recurrence of previous symptoms, even with a clean and sealed root. These symptoms include tenderness or swelling in the affected area, pain on biting, blisters or pimple-like bumps inside the mouth, and increased tooth movement and gradually worsen over time. If you have had symptoms such as these after receiving root canal treatment, call us to schedule a consultation and we can determine whether you qualify for a retreatment.
How long do root canals last?
Root canal treatment, when successful, clears the inner tooth pulp, nerves, and roots, allowing the gums and surrounding bone and tissues to heal and function as normal. With proper treatment, both of the procedure and post-treatment care, a root canal can remain effective and clear of infection for up to ten years. This is determined by the severity of the infection; any affected teeth or bone; prior injuries, trauma, or decay; patient compliance following the procedure; and the patient’s general oral health conditions.
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