Root Canal Therapy
When decay advances to the inner pulp of a tooth, a root canal can remove decayed portions and salvage the healthy outer tooth structure. Your dentist will remove the pulp from within the tooth and its roots, and fill it with a rubber-like substance. In most cases, the tooth is restored with a custom dental crown. This virtually painless procedure can prevent the need for extraction.
Treatment for Advanced Decay
Teeth contain pulp, a soft tissue comprising nerves, blood vessels, and connective material. When tooth decay advances to the pulp, it can cause painful symptoms that may require root canal therapy. This procedure involves removing the pulp from within the tooth and root canals (the centers of the tooth roots) to preserve the hard exterior of the tooth. Finally, your dentist will seal the tooth, and often restore it with a dental crown. Dr. Carl Friddle and Dr. Cody Friddle offer root canal therapy at their Fort Smith, AR, practice to help patients avoid the need for tooth extraction. We take every measure to make this procedure virtually painless. If you are experiencing a a toothache, swelling of the gums, or extreme dental sensitivity, contact our office to schedule a consultation. We will determine if a root canal or other treatment is right for you.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Infection of the tooth pulp can occur in several ways, including:
- A deep cavity
- A cracked or broken tooth
- Trauma to the tooth despite no visible evidence of damage
Your doctor will perform a comprehensive exam, including X-rays, to determine if root canal therapy is right for you. If the damage is extensive, you may require extraction.
What Does Root Canal Therapy Involve?
Before treatment, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Next, he will create an opening in the exterior of the tooth to access the pulp. All tissue from the root canals and pulp chamber will be removed. Next, the inside of the tooth will be sterilized. Your doctor will fill the root canals with a permanent filling material called gutta-percha, pack the remaining area with cotton, and seal the tooth with a filling. If the tooth requires additional support following treatment, your dentist will remove portions of the tooth exterior to create a base for a crown. Next, he will use the advanced CEREC® system to begin immediately crafting your custom restoration. Your dentist will take a digital impression of your prepared tooth, and this information will guide a computerized milling machine as it creates your crown from a single block of porcelain. When the crown is complete, your dentist will place it over your tooth, and make any adjustments needed to help you achieve a comfortable bite and proper fit.
What Are the Benefits of Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy allows you to avoid tooth extraction. It is also less expensive than replacing a tooth with implants or a bridge. While many patients are under the impression that root canal therapy is painful, modern endodontic treatment is actually quite comfortable, and provides long-term relief from painful symptoms. Upon completion of root canal therapy, you will be able to chew and bite comfortably. Your restored smile will also look natural.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a damaged or decayed tooth, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Your doctor will spend all the time necessary to address your concerns and educate you about the benefits of root canal therapy so you can make an informed decision about your treatment.