A Basic Guide to Endodontics and Root Canals
If your tooth is severely decayed or diseased, there is still hope to save it through endodontics or root canal treatment. Endodontics is the dental procedure of treating an infection at the tooth’s center. Commonly, infections at the center of the tooth are caused by bacteria found in the mouth.
Common factors that cause bacteria to invade into the tooth’s pulp include:
- Tooth decay
- Leaky fillings
- Cracked, chipped, broken, or fractured tooth due to trauma
If you’re considering endodontic treatment, you should consult a dentist for an oral examination. Contact Dr. Jeff for more information. The dentist will perform various exams and tests, including visual, physical, and x-ray images, to review your case.
If signs of infection in the tooth’s pulp are identified, a root canal should be performed as soon as possible to remove the infected parts and prevent them from spreading further. If the infection is left untreated, it can progress and eventually kill the pulp.
Signs You Might Need a Root Canal
While you may not be able to diagnose tooth infection on your own, some signs indicate the need for a root canal. These include:
If you notice any persistent sensitivity, particularly to cold and hot foods and beverages, it could indicate damaged nerves. Performing a root canal procedure will remove the decayed nerves and tissues, removing the sensitivity.
- Severe Pain
It could indicate a pulp infection if you’re experiencing severe and consistent pain, particularly when chewing or biting. Once the root canal is performed, the tooth’s health can be restored, and the pain maybe eliminated.
- Swelling and Tender Gums
Tender, swollen, or darkened gums or face may indicate a pulp infection or gum disease. If you have a deep cavity, a root canal may be required.
- Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, it’s easier for bacteria to get into the tooth’s pulp, causing infection. A root canal procedure may be needed to remove any bacteria before repairing the tooth with a filling, , or a dental crown.
Root Canal Procedure
Once the dentist confirms you for the procedure, they will discuss the treatment plan and schedule you for the main procedure. Make sure you follow the dentist’s or endodontist’s pre-instructions to the letter to avoid any complications.
On the day of the procedure, your dentist will prepare you for the procedure and follow these steps:
- The area around the tooth is numbed.
- Next, the dentist drills into the tooth to access the tooth’s pulp. The infected tissues and bacteria are removed from the tooth.
- The tooth is cleaned and disinfected.
- The tooth is filled to prevent bacteria from getting into the tooth and spreading the infection again. The filling is usually bonded with the tooth to provide additional strength and protection. This is often done at a subsequent appointment.
- If necessary, the dentist can install a dental crown over the tooth to restore its functionality and appearance.
- Your dentist will discuss any other important details before releasing you.
Benefits of Root Canal or Endodontic treatments
- It saves the tooth
- Restores a tooth’s function
- Improves the tooth’s appearance
- Helps prevent further damage to the tooth
Proper Dental Care
After a root canal, proper dental care and hygiene is essential to prevent new infections. To care for your teeth:
- Keep your teeth clean.
- Avoid sugary or acidic foods. They encourage bacteria growth in the mouth.
- Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings.
- Eat healthier and hydrate well.
- Use fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Wear a mouth guard if you clench your teeth or during physical activities.
Schedule an Appointment
Are you interested in Endodontics and root canals in Mississauga, ON? Contact Dr. Jeff Levman today to book your appointment.