At Chestnuthill Dental, we believe in preventing tooth loss whenever possible. We can preserve a tooth that has sustained even severe damage by performing a root canal.
A root canal treats damage or infection that has spread to the interior structure of a tooth. This procedure removes the “pulp,” which is the nerve inside the tooth, and then a special filling material is placed inside the tooth’s root to help strengthen it.
If you believe that you may be in need of a root canal, here are answers to commonly asked questions about the procedure.
When is a root canal needed?
A root canal is the recommended treatment anytime an infection in a tooth spreads into the pulp.
The most common causes of this type of infection are:
If an infection in the pulp of the tooth is not treated, the infection may spread to the end of the tooth root, creating an abscess. This can be a dire situation, as the infected pus from the abscess may enter your bloodstream, potentially causing organ failure and other life-threatening problems.
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What can I expect from having a root canal?
Although a root canal is still a complicated procedure that only should be performed by a qualified dentist with significant training and experience, advances in dental technology have made a root canal more convenient and comfortable than ever.
Any root canal will entail at least two appointments at our office. At the first visit, following the application of a local anesthetic, our dentist will remove damaged areas of the tooth, including the pulp inside of the tooth’s chamber.
The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned before a permanent filling known as gutta-percha is placed inside the tooth’s chamber.
Next, the tooth will need a dental crown to strengthen it. This process can be done during the same appointment, or you may return to our office at a later date to begin the crown procedure. In this case, a temporary filling or crown may be placed on your tooth until you return for your permanent restoration. Keep in mind that the temporary restoration is only meant to be worn for a few weeks. Otherwise, you risk damaging the tooth beyond repair.
You also may be prescribed an antibiotic if the infection in the tooth is severe.
At your next appointment, the dentist will replace the temporary filling with a crown, which covers the exterior of the tooth and has been matched in shape and color to look like your other natural teeth.
What if I’m nervous about my upcoming root canal?
It is normal to feel nervous before any dental procedure, but especially one that is more involved and lengthy. If you experience feelings of apprehension, ask us about oral sedation dentistry so that you can feel calm and relaxed during your procedure. You will be prescribed a mild sedative that is to be taken at a set time before your procedure. Its effects should remain during your entire appointment, so you will need to have someone drive you to and from our office and stay with you for the remainder of the day.
Why is a root canal important?
Root Canal Treatment in Sciota, Pennsylvania
If you think you need a root canal, you can trust our dentists at Chestnuthill Dental. To learn more about root canals or see if you are a candidate, please call (570) 402-4001.