Let’s take a tour of your tooth. There’s the crown, which is the part you see. Then, holding the crown in place is the root, which lies below the surface of the gums and is embedded in the jawbone. Through this root runs a chamber, called the root canal, and through this canal runs a nerve, called the pulp. Sometimes this nerve might become infected or inflamed, and when this happens, Dr. Nameth can provide you with relief by performing root canal therapy.
When the tissue that runs through your tooth gets infected or becomes inflamed, Dr. Nameth may recommend root canal therapy. Infection or irritation can happen for a number of reasons. Decay can reach all the way through the dentin to the chamber where the nerve is located, affecting the pulp. A crack can expose the pulp to infection-causing bacteria and debris.
Also, dental trauma can cause inflammation of the nerve. Left untreated, this inflammation or infection can eventually cause you to lose the affected tooth; root canal therapy is one way to reverse the damage, stop the infection, and save your tooth. Symptoms that signal a possible problem in need of root canal therapy include tooth tenderness, pain, extreme sensitivity, and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Dr. Randall Nameth will examine your tooth, typically via X-rays, and confirm if a root canal is the best next step to save it. If so, he’ll either schedule you for treatment on a later date or begin the process the same day. The first step involves numbing the tooth and surrounding gum tissue with a local anesthetic in order to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatments themselves cause minimal discomfort because of this step.
After numbing the area, he’ll access the root by creating a small hole through the top of the crown. This will allow him to irrigate the inner tooth, remove infected or decaying tissue and apply antibacterial gel, which will work to prevent future infections. Once damaged tissue is removed, he’ll fill the inner area with gutta percha, a rubber-like material designed to replace the removed tissue. Once sealed, he’ll place a temporary crown on top to protect the tooth from oral bacteria and schedule you to come back for a follow-up appointment. This final appointment will be to place your permanent crown.
Aftercare for root canals is mostly straightforward. By following these steps immediately after treatment, you’re far more likely to improve the outcome of your root canal therapy and avoid complications. They include:
If you’re in Worthington, Dublin, Lewis Center, or Westerville and think you might be in need of root canal therapy, contact the office of Randall Nameth, D.D.S. today for an appointment. Don’t wait. The earlier we can perform your treatment, the more successful and less complicated your treatment will be.