When a tooth is severely decayed and the damage extends into the root of the tooth, a root canal (also known as endodontic treatment) may be necessary. Tooth decay is the result of bacteria that erode the tooth. If bacteria gets into the tooth root it can cause irreparable damage and potential loss of the tooth. A root canal, when done in time, can preserve the tooth and keep it in place.
If you’re in need of a root canal or you’re experiencing tooth pain, call Dr. Todd’s office at 570-287-2500 or click here to request an appointment. Dr. Todd Paczewski provides comprehensive dental services to residents of Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Forty Fort, Dallas, Scranton, and Back Mountain, PA.
Why is a Root Canal Needed?
Inside the root of a tooth is soft tissue called pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp is crucial in the growth process of the tooth root. But once a tooth is fully grown it no longer needs that pulp.
When a tooth is damaged by decay that extends all the way into the pulp, there is a risk of infection from the bacteria that caused the tooth decay. By removing the pulp and the bacteria infecting it and then filling the space inside, the tooth can be preserved and the risk of future infection is eliminated.
What Does a Root Canal Procedure Entail?
The steps of a root canal procedure:
The first step in any dental procedure is anesthesia. Local anesthesia (such as Novocain) is usually sufficient to eliminate pain for most patients. Patients with dental anxiety may wish to have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or to be sedated for the procedure.
Removing the Pulp
The infected tissue (pulp) inside the tooth will be accessed using specialized dental tools and completely removed along with all of the bacteria that may have resided there. The empty tooth cavity will then be thoroughly dried.
Filling the Tooth
The tooth will then be filled with a rubber-like material and sealed with a filling, much like a cavity.
A root canal procedure is often followed up with a crown placed over the tooth a few weeks later. Whether or not a crown is needed depends on the type of tooth receiving the root canal and the individual situation of the patient.
What are the Signs that you May Need a Root Canal?
There are a few typical symptoms that suggest a root canal may be in order:
- Severe tooth pain, especially when biting/chewing
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Hot or cold sensitivity that lingers after the source goes away
- Pimples on the gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Deep decay or darkened gums
Contact Us Today
Dr. Todd Paczewski and his staff provide excellent comprehensive dental care to the residents of Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Forty Fort, Dallas, Scranton, and Back Mountain, PA. Dental services range from regular cleanings to advanced dental procedures.