Root Canal

Your dentist may offer you root canal treatment if there is inflammation or infection in one of your teeth. He or she will clean and fill the tooth to prevent further damage or infection. Root canal treatment may save your tooth from extraction.

Underneath the white enamel of your teeth and the dentin layer is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that can become inflamed or infected. This can happen due to bacteria, tooth decay, or trauma. Therefore, root canal treatment involves cleaning the pulp. Symptoms that may precede root canal treatment include pain when eating or chewing, swollen gums, swelling of the face, or darkening of the color of the tooth. It is important to pay attention to these symptoms and see a dentist as soon as possible.

Why is root canal treatment

If a tooth is damaged, bacteria can enter the tooth. This causes irritation, pain, and swelling. If the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected, this can spread to the pulp inside the root canal.

The goal of root canal treatment is to prevent tooth extraction by removing the damaged pulp and treating the infection.

You may need root canal treatment for a number of reasons, including:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Re-treatment of a tooth
  • Cracked tooth
  • Broken crown
  • Cracked or fallen out fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Trauma, such as a blow to the mouth.

If the infection is left untreated, it can spread further and cause an abscess, which is a build-up of pus. It can be painful, tender and cause swelling around the tooth and jaw.

Sometimes a tooth may look darker than other teeth – this means that the nerve inside the tooth has died or is dying off.

What to Expect During
a Root Canal Procedure

A root canal procedure can be done in 1 or 2 visits. For retreatments (in which a tooth has already received endodontic treatment), 3 visits may be requested. Each visit should take 90 minutes or less.

How long does a root canal take? A root canal procedure takes 30-90 minutes per visit. For simple cases of teeth with one root, each visit will probably 60 minutes or less. Complex cases take closer to 90 minutes per visit.

Why do root canals take 2 visits? Depending on the provider’s preference, root canal treatment may be done in 2 or more visits for more thorough cleaning. The number of visits for root canal therapy has no significant impact on pain levels or treatment success rates.

Should your root canal be done by your dentist or a specialist? Specialists in root canal therapy are called endodontists. An endodontist should perform your root canal procedure if you have complex canals or if your general dentist refers out root canal cases. However, all dentists are trained to perform root canals during dental school.

Are There Any Alternatives
to a Root Canal Treatment?

Saving the natural tooth is usually the best option, so root canal treatment is generally the treatment of choice. The only alternative to having a root canal is a tooth extraction and having it replaced with an implantbridge, or denture. These procedures are more expensive than a root canal and often require more time and additional procedures to treat the surrounding teeth and tissues. If a tooth is extracted and not replaced with some type of restoration, chewing function will be impaired and teeth may shift.

Root Canal

Preventing the need for root canal therapy involves reducing your risk of untreated tooth decay and trauma to your teeth.

To reduce your risk of tooth decay:

  • Practice good oral hygiene (flossing, brushing, oil pulling, etc.)
  • Use a remineralizing toothpaste
  • Eat foods that prevent cavities
  • Limit your intake of sugary, acidic, and highly processed foods
  • Avoid antibacterial oral care products like regular mouthwash, which disrupt your oral microbiome
  • Prevent dry mouth by mouth taping and practicing nose breathing
  • See your dentist for a cleaning and exam every 6 months

To prevent tooth decay from progressing to the point of a root canal:

  • Never ignore a toothache — always discuss new tooth pain with your dentist
  • Don’t put off dental work for tooth decay unless you’re actively reversing cavities
  • Consider regenerative endodontics, a stem cell endodontic therapy, if you have existing pulpitis

To reduce your risk of trauma to teeth:

  • Always wear a mouthguard when playing sports or during athletic activity
  • Use your teeth only for eating — no opening packages, chewing on pencils, etc.
  • Be cautious in situations where falling is likely
  • Practice safe driving — always wear a seatbelt
dentist of aventura

With the help of our skilled doctors at Dentist of Aventura, patients receive quality and professional root canal treatment. At Dentist of Aventura, we firmly believe that patients are the best arbiters of the quality of dental care and customer service at any dental office.

Call our Dentist of Aventura at 305-339-5701. We can make same-day appointments. Financing options are available as well with 0 % APR for up to 24 months. We are here to help you. 

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