Root Canal Therapy FAQs

Root Canal Therapy FAQs

Jan 01, 2021

Although most of us maintain the standard dental practice of brushing and flossing, decay and infection can still occur. When we have severe decay that extends to the root, a root canal may be the best solution for removing the infection and saving the teeth.

In the past, tooth extraction was the treatment for decayed teeth. However, with the advancement in dental technology, root canal therapy can help save the day.

What is Root Canal?

While it is used to refer to the form of treatment, a root canal is part of the tooth. The human tooth has different parts: the enamel (visible), the dentin (give the teeth color), and the pulp chamber. The pulp cavity contains nerves and blood vessels that support the dentin and keep the teeth alive. 

The pulp can, however, get infected because of poor hygiene or repeated dental procedures. A pulp infection can cause inflammation, pain, and decay that damages the tooth. If the decay is moderate and the teeth are not severely damaged, the dentist can recommend root canal therapy.

This is a dental procedure that is done to remove the infected pulp and stop the spread of the infection.

When Does the Pulp Need to be Removed?

Our endodontist may remove the root canal if:

  • You have swelling that spreads to the neck 
  • The teeth have lingering sensitivity 
  • The gums are painful and dark
  • You have loose teeth 
  • There is an abscess in the gums 
  • You have undergone repeated dental procedures that have damaged the tooth 

What Happens During a Root Canal?

The root canal treatment is done in several steps spread over two dental visits.

1. Examination and preparation 

During your first dental consultation, our root canal dentist will perform a comprehensive dental examination. The dentist will check the extent of the decay and if a root canal is a suitable treatment. Sometimes, the teeth are too damaged, and only a tooth extraction is needed.

2. Cleaning of the pulp 

Our Rockville dentist will first separate the affected teeth with a sheet to keep them clean and dry. Next, he will remove the infected pulp, clean the cavity, and reshape it. This is done under local anesthesia, although sometimes dental sedation is used for people who have dental phobia. 

3. Filling the pulp chamber

The dentist will fill the reshaped chamber with a rubber-like material and seal the area with adhesive cement. A temporary tooth filling is placed over the area to protect it.

4. Adding the dental crown 

After the root canal is removed, the tooth becomes weak. A dental crown is used to restore the strength and function of the tooth. 

What to Expect After the Root Canal Treatment?

You will not have any feeling on the tooth because the nerves will be removed. Also, the tooth may be weak, so avoid using it when chewing until the crown is fitted.

After the treatment, you may experience mild bleeding, swelling, and bruising. Our root canal dentist will prescribe pain-relieving mediation and antibiotics to ease the pain and prevent infection.

Are There Complications?

Root canal therapy is a safe treatment and rarely causes any problems. However, at times, the treatment may fail, and reinfection may occur. Several factors like multiple canals may cause root canal therapy to fail.

When this happens, the dentist may perform another root canal or do another treatment. Endodontic surgery is one of the treatments that may be done. This is a surgery done to locate the multiple canals and remove them.

Tooth extraction may also be done if the infection persists.

What Happens If the Root Canal Is Not Done?

The infection will spread to the surrounding tissues and cause widespread inflammation. Also, it may damage multiple teeth and lead to the removal of all of them. This will leave unsightly gaps that affect your appearance and also your dental structure.

You will need other cosmetic and restorative dental treatments to replace the missing teeth.

Schedule an Appointment 

Visit Joseph Boesch DDs for more information on root canals in Rockville, the procedure, and what to expect.