Root Canals

RootCanalIn the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Root canals are relatively simple procedures, with little or no discomfort, involving one to three office visits. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can injure your jawbones and can be detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.

Signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in gums.

Root canal treatment consists of several steps that often take place over several office visits, depending on your individual situation.

• First, an opening is made through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar.

• After the diseased pulp is removed (a pulpectomy), the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped in preparation for being filled.

• If more than one visit is needed, a temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits.

• The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal permanently filled. A tapered, rubbery material called gutta-percha is inserted into each of the canals and is often sealed into place with cement. Sometimes a metal or plastic rod is placed in the canal for structural support.

• In the final step, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is very broken down, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.

With proper care, your restored tooth can last a lifetime. Because tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth, good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are necessary to prevent further problems.

Address

Nehl Dental
605 Railroad St.
Belle Fourche, SD, 57717

Telephone: (605) 892-3603
Emergency: (605) 210-2621
Toll-Free: (800) 611-8796
Email: drmatt@nehldental.com