What to Expect When Getting Root Canal Therapy

What to Expect When Getting Root Canal Therapy

Historically, root canal therapy has had a bad rap. The good news is that advances in dental technology allow for virtually painless and less "scary" treatment, with a whopping 95+ percent success rate! Here's what you can expect during your root canal appointment.

Root Canal Therapy Overview

Root canal therapy is an endodontic treatment that focuses on the health of the inside of a tooth. To have a clearer understanding of the procedure, it helps to learn about a tooth's anatomy. Right under the outer layer of enamel is a layer called the dentin, and under that is the pulp chamber that houses the soft pulp tissue with its blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. 

The tooth's pulp, which extends from the tooth's crown all the way to the tips of the roots, is vital during a tooth's growth and development, but a mature tooth can survive without it. So why would you require root canal therapy? The procedure is necessary when the tooth pulp becomes inflamed or infected, usually resulting from deep decay, injury, a crack or chip, or repeated dental procedures. 

What Are the Symptoms of Pulp Damage?

Tell-tale signs that you have tooth pulp damage requiring root canal therapy include painful chewing or biting, lingering sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, gum swelling and tenderness, a pimple-like bump on the gums, a chipped or cracked tooth, or tooth discoloration. At times, you may have tooth pulp damage but not show any symptoms. That's why we encourage you to keep up with your twice-a-year dental exams. Dr. Rick will evaluate every aspect of your oral health and uncover any underlying conditions that require intervention to restore your oral health.

Why Is the Alternative to Root Canal Therapy 

Tooth pulp damage, left untreated, can result in a host of complications, including swelling of the face or neck, an abscess, or tooth loss. Worse yet, the infection can potentially drain into the gums, cheeks, or skin. Your only alternative to root canal therapy is having the affected tooth extracted and replacing it with a bridge, partial denture, or dental implant, which is far more involved, costly, and time-consuming.

What Is the Root Canal Procedure?

We will start with numbing the affected tooth and providing you with dental sedation, if needed, for your comfort. A protective dental dam will help keep the area clean and free of saliva. We will make a small opening in the tooth's crown to access and remove the diseased pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals. Next is shaping the space and filling the root canals with a rubbery, biocompatible material called gutta-percha. The final step is sealing the area and placing a temporary filling. 

A tooth is prone to fracture after root canal therapy and requires a dental crown to restore its form, health, and integrity. Dr. Rick Dentistry is proud to offer crowns in a variety of materials, including porcelain, for incredibly natural-looking and feeling results. We also offer same-day CEREC crowns for your convenience. Your restored tooth will look, feel, and function just like any of your natural teeth. 

Gentle Root Canal Therapy Near Me

Visit Dr. Rick's dental practice in Scottsdale, AZ, to learn more about our gentle root canal treatments and how they save damaged teeth. Our gentle techniques and sedation options will leave you with a relaxing and positive experience. You can always count on our team for care and services that exceed your expectations. Call us and schedule your appointment today!