What is a root canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is the pulp. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerve tissue. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
How is a root canal performed?
If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr. Browning will evaluate your tooth and radiographs and recommend root canal treatment if necessary to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine. Usually, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will eliminate any discomfort if needed.
What happens after treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a final restoration must be placed to protect the tooth. Most teeth require full coverage crowns. However, occasionally a front tooth may only require a small filling.It is rare for patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.