Root canal therapy is a way to preserve a tooth that has gone bad. There are several misconceptions about root canal therapy that have passed down through the generations. Hopefully the following answers to frequently asked questions can help clarify things.
Answer: The act of mechanically removing an inflamed or infected pulp within the canal space and eventually sealing that space to prevent future infection.
Answer: A fully trained dentist with additional post-graduate specialty education in the treatment of pulpal diseases and pathology. Your dentist may have referred you to an endodontist due to the complexity of the case.
Answer: With adequate local anesthesia, root canal therapy should be as painless as having a deep filling. In certain cases, root canal therapy may require more local anesthetic than standard dental procedures.
Answer: In most cases, the alternative to root canal therapy is extraction. Replacement of the extracted tooth is recommended, and the options include a fixed bridge, or placement of an implant
Answer: A root canal filling material is just like any other dental material in that it may not last forever. the seal can break down allowing for reinfection. The other cause for failure is root fracture. Root-canal-treated roots are inherently a little weaker and can break. It is very difficult to fully confirm a root fracture on X-ray. There are basically three options when dealing with a root canal failure.
1) Root canal retreatment - in attempt to re-establish the seal.
2) Apicoectomy - to inspect the root end for fracture or restore the end of the root with a
3) Extraction - remove the tooth completely and possibly restore with a brdge, implant, or
denture when appropriate.
Answer: This is a term for a surgical approach to address leakage from the root canal system. It is usualy reserved for teeth that have already received root canal treatment that is failing or for cases where instrumentation to the end of the root via the canal is not possible. It is accomplished by making an incision along the gum to get to the root tip end, removing a portion of the tip, and placing a filling to stop any leakage from the canal.
Answer: In most cases, a crown is recommended after root canal treatment. This is especially true for back teeth that receive a tremendous amount of our biting forces. The crown will help protect the remaining tooth structure. Failure to protect may result in tooth fracture and lead to extraction.
Still have questions? Please contact us anytime! We look forward to hearing from you.