Root Canal Therapy
If decay or trauma affects the pulp at the center of a tooth, it can cause a significant infection. When this occurs, the only viable options are root canal therapy or an extraction. Root canal therapy at Maitre & Crabtree Dental Group in Mobile, AL, can preserve an infected tooth and eliminate the need for an extraction and costly restoration.
Despite its reputation, root canal therapy is a fairly straightforward procedure. For your comfort, we offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation options to make you feel more relaxed during your treatment.
Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is usually recommended when a tooth infection is too severe to address with a filling or an inlay or onlay. While the best way to determine whether it is necessary is through a consultation with your dentist, you will likely notice a number of signs, such as:
- A toothache
- A swollen jaw
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Swelling of the gums or face
- Sudden bad breath or bad taste
In some instances, however, an infected tooth may not exhibit any symptoms. Consequently, it is important to visit your dentist regularly so they can monitor your oral health and identify any problems early on.
Root canal therapy can be performed in one or two visits at Maitre & Crabtree, depending on the particular needs of the patient.
Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
Although root canal treatments have a reputation for being painful, the benefits far outweigh the potential discomfort. Root canal therapy can:
- Eliminate the need for an extraction
- Be performed using comfortable, gentle techniques
- Prevent infection from spreading to surrounding areas
Furthermore, because of the anesthesia provided, you can remain comfortable throughout your appointment.
Understanding the Timeline
Root canal therapy can be performed in one or two visits at Maitre & Crabtree, depending on the particular needs of the patient. The general treatment process is usually broken down into several stages:
- Anesthesia: First, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth and surrounding gums. If you have opted for sedation, these medications will be administered before the procedure begins.
- Access: Once you are comfortable, your dentist makes a small access hole in the top of the tooth. This helps him visualize the internal tissues.
- Pulp removal: Next, the nerves, infected tissues, and blood vessels are removed. This effectively eliminates the source of infection and discomfort.
- Cleaning and disinfection: Using tiny dental instruments, the doctor will thoroughly debride and scrub the inside surfaces of the tooth to remove any residual bacteria.
- Filling the tooth: Next, your dentist fills the canals and the pulp chamber with a flexible dental material known as gutta percha. A support post is also placed in one of the root canals to keep the tooth stable.
- Sealing the tooth: The tooth is then sealed off to discourage recontamination and protect it from outside elements.
- Crown placement: In many cases, a crown is recommended to reinforce the affected tooth and protect it from further damage.
If a dental crown is not necessary, treatment may be completed in a single appointment. However, if you require a restoration, you may be rescheduled for a second visit, as it takes one to two weeks for our dental lab to fabricate a permanent crown. In the meantime, we can provide you with a temporary crown to make sure that your tooth is protected.
Contact Maitre & Crabtree Dental Group Today
Are you experiencing a toothache? Did you wake up with a swollen jaw? If so, root canal therapy may be the treatment solution for you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors, contact us online or call our office at (251) 333-7234.