What Blue Springs, MO patients need to know about root canal therapy
“Can my tooth be saved?” It is a question we frequently hear from patients in Blue Springs, MO with severe decay or broken teeth. Thanks to advanced root canal therapy (endodontic treatment), the answer is often “yes.” The procedure is precise, reliable, and contrary to common misconceptions it is also comfortable.
What is a root canal?
The outer layers of a tooth are composed of enamel and dentin. Inside the tooth are chambers that house dental pulp, which includes blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissue. A root canal is space where dental pulp is contained within the root of the tooth. Root canal therapy is a procedure that removes the pulp.
About the procedure
Root canal therapy generally requires one or two appointments. The steps of the procedure include:
- First, we completely numb the area to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout the process. If you feel anxious about treatment, ask us about oral sedation.
- Your dentist will create a small opening in the upper part of the tooth. Specialized instruments are used to access and clean the chambers and canals within the tooth.
- The inside of the tooth is sterilized to eliminate any infection, and then filled with a biocompatible material and sealed to prevent re-infection.
- The final step is restoring the tooth, which is usually accomplished with a beautiful porcelain dental crown.
Why might root canal therapy be needed?
When the protective outer layers are compromised by deep decay, fractures, oral injury, and other damage, bacteria can enter the tooth and reach the dental pulp. Injured or infected dental pulp is unlikely to heal. If it dies, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. The infection can spread to surrounding tissues, causing inflammation, dangerous abscesses, and damage to the bone that supports the tooth. This is often (but not always) quite painful. Without treatment, the tooth eventually falls out or needs to be removed.
Do not delay – if you have a dental problem, call us right away
Cavities and some types of tooth damage can be corrected without root canal therapy if they are treated immediately. If you wait until dental pulp is damaged, root canal therapy will be necessary. If you wait until infection has spread to the bone and surrounding tissue, we might have to extract the tooth and place a dental implant or other restoration.
In other words, it is never too late to restore your smile. However, the sooner you seek treatment, the simpler and more conservative that treatment will be. If you have a damaged or painful tooth, call McDaniel Family Dental at (816) 227-6588 today.