Root Canal Therapy
Few dental procedures get a worse rap than root canal therapy. In truth, this beneficial procedure can save a badly compromised tooth or preserve options for future tooth replacement. In the gentle care of Dr. Jing at Procopio Towle Dental Office, root canals are nothing to fear.
Why get Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a form of treatment that may be needed if a tooth has hidden decay under a filling, a cavity left untreated because it initially causes no pain, a fracture, or breakage.
Cavities are tiny holes in enamel which, if not treated right away continue to expand into larger holes. Where there is a hole, there is an opening for bacteria to invade the inner parts of the tooth, where tissues are softer and infection can more easily progress. Once infection has reached the pulp at the center of the tooth, intense pain is likely to occur – either acute pain and a swollen face, or intermittent toothaches.
Root canal therapy alleviates and removes the source of pain (avoiding need for extraction), and fortifies the tooth, by maintaining the natural tooth structure and the preserving the jawbone.
Understanding the procedure
Root canal therapy takes place in three steps:
Diagnosis – Examination and x-rays pinpoint the problem. Antibiotics to fight infection and medications to relieve pain may also be prescribed.
Treatment – The procedure may immediately follow diagnosis, or take place after the course of antibiotics. From the patient’s perspective, treatment feels similar to getting a filling. However, if you are nervous about getting a root canal, we offer nitrous oxide to help you relax during the procedure. After the mouth is thoroughly numbed, the tooth is opened, relieving painful pressure. Areas of damage are removed. The pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and sanitized. The tooth is sealed and protected with an interim crown.
Restoration – Root canal therapy may cause the tooth to become brittle, since there is no longer blood flow. A crown restoration is necessary to strengthen the tooth and prevent further damage.
At Procopio Towle Dental Office, we are committed to providing each patient with gentle, personalized treatment. Contact our office in Walnut Creek to schedule your visit.