If you are in need of a root canal, you can rest easily knowing that at Ai Family Dental, we are skilled in state-of-the-art dental techniques that make root canals more comfortable, efficient, and effective than ever. Despite its bad reputation, the root canal is a therapy that will relieve pain and treat a seriously infected tooth that might otherwise have to be pulled. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or an abscess, call our office today to find out if a root canal can help.
✱ Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
✱ Infection or abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
✱ Injury or trauma to the tooth.
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist). While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed. At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function. After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed. You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.
What will happen afterwards?
Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days, but any discomfort can usually be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication or anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. You will be instructed to avoid chewing on that tooth until it receives its permanent filling, which can be placed a few days later. Depending on how damaged the tooth was to begin with, it may need a full-coverage crown. Those options will be discussed with you.
How can I avoid the need for root canal treatment in the future?
Keep your teeth decay-free by brushing and flossing every day. Eat a healthy diet low in sugar and avoid acidic beverages such as soda. Have regular professional cleanings and exams. And if you’re active in sports, consider ordering a custom-made mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury.
Are root canals common?
Root canals are a common, standard procedure for saving infected teeth, with more than 15 million performed every year in the U.S. This means the average endodontist—a root canal specialist—performs approximately 25 root canals every week!
How effective is a root canal?
As with most dental care, root canals have evolved dramatically over the decades, now boasting a 95% success rate. Properly performed root canal treatments can ensure the repaired tooth lasts a lifetime with little to no additional future dental work required.