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Root Canal Treatment

Everyone seems to have a horror story to tell about root canals. It's always a friend of a friend whose head exploded or something like that. So it's no surprise when people come into the office after they just can't take it anymore! 

The truth of the matter is that most patients that leave our chairs after root canals make statements like, "that wasn't as bad as I was expecting!" When patients are proactive with their discomfort and seek treatment things generally run smoothly and pain can be easily managed. 

Root canals are necessary when the pulp of the tooth is irreversibly damaged. This can happen when decay gets too deep, fractures extend into the pulp, traumatic events happen or a traumatic bite causes unnecessary stress on the tooth. Sometimes the tooth becomes sensitive or painful and occasionally we just notice infection at the end of a root with no pain. But the solution is the same for each case.

Stress - woman stressed with headache. F

The Process

Root canals are pretty straight forward... 1. find the canal(s), 2. clean the canals and, 3. fill the canals. With the use of our CBCT we can determine the number, size, location and relative difficulty of each canal making the process very predictable. This allows for less time in the chair and and easier process altogether. Cleaning the tooth requires removal of all the vessels and nerves from the tooth and filling their space with a rubber material called gutta percha.

Once the root canal is completed it is important to note that the tooth generally becomes fragile since the nerves and nutrient providing vessels are removed. Because of this fragility the tooth may need a crown to protect it. This is particularly important in teeth toward the back of the mouth- the chewing teeth. Once these teeth "dry out" they are far more prone to fracture which may require removal of the tooth. 

Don't hesitate to call for a consultation if you are noticing anything odd with your teeth as problems are far easier to treat in the early stages of the process!

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