Save Your Teeth & Avoid Extractions With Root Canal Therapy At VP Dental

VP Dental |

Have you been experiencing a toothache or have an abscess that just won’t go away? It may be time to see Dr. Valerie Preston at VP Dental for a root canal in Raleigh, NC! Don’t let that term scare you – a root canal is a very common dental procedure with its primary goal being to relieve pain. Nearly 16 million root canals are performed in the United States alone each year, and with modern dental technology, they’re no more uncomfortable than a regular filling.

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that’s done to fix a tooth when the area inside, called the pulp, gets infected or damaged. The pulp is like the nerve center of your tooth. During a root canal, Preston removes the infected or damaged part of the pulp, cleans the inside of the tooth, and then seals it up to protect it from further problems. After a root canal, the tooth can still function normally without causing any pain or discomfort.

Generally, they are caused due to a cavity becoming so deep that it spreads and infects the nerves in the root of your tooth. Left untreated, a cavity this deep can become an abscess and may even lead to bone loss in your jaw as well as other health problems.

Signs You May Need One

  • Persistent tooth pain, especially when biting down or applying pressure.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers even after the source of the temperature change is removed.
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums near the affected tooth.
  • Darkening or discoloration of the tooth.
  • Pimple-like bumps on the gums near the tooth, which may leak pus or blood.
  • A cracked or chipped tooth that exposes the pulp to bacteria.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see our Raleigh dentist, Preston, as soon as possible. She can examine your tooth and determine whether a root canal is necessary to treat the problem and alleviate your discomfort.

How Root Canals Work

  • Assessment: Dr. Preston will examine your tooth and possibly take X-rays to assess the extent of damage and determine if a root canal is necessary.
  • Anesthesia: Before starting the procedure, we’ll numb the area around the affected tooth using local anesthesia to ensure you’re comfortable and don’t feel pain during the procedure.
  • Access: Preston will create a small opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals.
  • Cleaning and shaping: Using special instruments, she’ll remove the infected or damaged pulp tissue from the pulp chamber and root canals. She will then clean and shape the inside of the tooth to prepare it for filling.
  • Filling: Once the inside of the tooth is cleaned and shaped, Preston will fill the empty space inside the tooth with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha to seal the root canals and prevent bacteria from re-entering.
  • Sealing: After filling the tooth, we seal the opening in the top of the tooth with a temporary or permanent filling to prevent further infection.
  • Restoration: In some cases, a crown may be placed on the tooth to restore its strength and protect it from further damage. Dr. Preston may place a temporary crown initially and then replace it with a permanent crown in a later appointment.

After the root canal procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and typically improves within a few days.

Root Canal Retreatment

For a variety of reasons, root canal treatment may occasionally be unsuccessful, at which point additional treatment becomes necessary. One of the main reasons root canal treatment can fail is when all of the tooth’s canals were not identified and treated, or else were not completely cleaned. These are problems that can often be corrected with retreatment.

Another way treatment can become compromised is through leakage of salivary bacteria, which can contaminate the treatment area and lead to infection of the root canals and, eventually, the surrounding bone and gums. This leakage can either be the result of an ill-fitting crown or filling or else through new tooth decay. With poorly-sealed root canals, contamination will occur rapidly, unlike a well-sealed root canal, which effectively slows or prevents contamination and infection. This problem can also be corrected with retreatment in most cases.

Correcting Failed Root Canals

Dr. Preston will mechanically remove debris, tissue, and infection from within the canal spaces, then chemically disinfect those spaces, and finally seal them off with a root canal filling so that recontamination will not occur.

Before Dr. Preston can do this, she must disassemble the existing restoration and previous root canal treatment, which can involve removing or making an access opening through the existing crown or removing existing posts or cores. After disassembly is complete, she removes the previous filling material so that she can clean and disinfect all canal spaces. Sometimes she will fill the canals with a temporary medication before completing treatment in a separate visit.

To complete the retreatment, Preston seals the canals with a root filling. For a permanent restoration, you will need to go back to VP Dental after a few weeks of healing. A damaged or leaking restoration will need to be replaced because a well-fitting final restoration is crucial for the treatment to succeed.

Save Your Smile With A Root Canal in Raleigh, NC

Avoid losing your tooth permanently through extraction by making an appointment with Preston to get evaluated for a root canal. This is your best shot at saving your tooth and avoiding costly restorations like dental implants! Contact us today to schedule your appointment and take the first step to restoring your dental health.