Endodontic therapy is frequently referred to as “root canal treatment” but the two are one and the same.
Essentially, root canal treatment is a type of root filling that extends down the empty nerve chamber through the center of your tooth. Rather than simply patching over a smaller area of decay on the outside of a tooth, a root canal will repair infected teeth from the inside out.
Why Root Canals are Necessary
Dr. Miller will recommend a root canal on any tooth that cannot be preserved through other restorative methods. Rather than extract your tooth and create extra space in your bite (which can lead to other complications) it’s better to remove the nerve and retain the tooth as long as possible.
You might need a root canal if your tooth:
- Has an extremely deep cavity
- Is significantly fractured
- Is heavily restored with older fillings
- Shows signs of an abscess
- Is hypersensitive
- Suffers from sensitivity to hot temperatures
Ultimately, we’ll need to take a small X-ray and examine your tooth to determine if a root canal is in your best interest.
Root Canal Treatment Step-by-Step
Step 1 – Remove the Nerve. Your tooth will be thoroughly numbed before any treatment is initiated. From there, a small opening is made at the top of your tooth to access the nerve chamber. Then the nerve tissues are gently removed, the canals are disinfected, and the hollow chambers are prepped for the next step.
Side note: If you have an aggressive abscess or facial swelling, Dr. Miller may recommend a round of antibiotic therapy in addition to your root canal treatment. Although the prescription will not prevent relapse of infection, it will significantly reduce the swelling so that local anesthetic (numbing medication) can work more effectively during your root canal treatment.
Step 2 – Fill the Canal. Since an open canal is still susceptible to bacterial infection, Dr. Miller will fill the chambers with a special material to block off all of the open areas. This step prevents reinfection. Depending on which tooth is being treated, you may have anywhere from 1-3 roots that will need to be sealed off.
Step 3 – Protect the Tooth with a Crown. Since your tooth no longer has a vital blood supply, it’s not technically alive anymore. Endodontically treated teeth are more susceptible to fractures or wear from everyday use. To protect them, a full-coverage dental crown is recommended.
Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
One of the most common misconceptions about endodontic treatment is that getting a root canal will hurt. Quite the contrary! Dr. Miller recommends root canals to relieve the source of your tooth pain, rather than cause more.
As with any basic dental procedure, our root canal dentist (Vista, CA) will thoroughly numb the tooth and immediate area around it. That way the anesthetic can prevent any nerve stimuli during your appointment. Any discomfort following your visit will usually only be a bit of soreness at the injection site. But since your tooth will no longer have a vital nerve inside of it, it can’t transfer any pain stimuli. If needed, it’s completely safe to rinse with warm salt water or take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Motrin following your endodontic treatment.
With a gentle root canal treatment, you’re preventing the risk of painful dental emergencies such as abscesses or trips to the emergency room!
Need a Gentle Root Canal Dentist?
Vista, CA endodontic patients can trust Dr. Miller to look after their comfort and oral health at all times. We want your root canal treatment to be a positive experience that prolongs the overall health of your smile.
If you’re looking for the “best root canal dentist near me”, we encourage you to reserve a consultation at Ivory Point Dentistry. We’re happy to answer any questions that you have! Contact us today to get started.