What is a root canal?
Millions of root canals are completed each year, but they still have a very bad reputation for most patients. At EPO Dental Specialists, our skilled endodontist, Dr. Javier Ortiz, offers root canal therapy to relieve pain and renew your complete oral health. The procedure is necessary when dental damage or decay accesses the interior layer of teeth where the nerve system of the tooth is housed. This is the cause of the severe toothache that has earned root canals their bad reputation. However, the treatment will almost immediately relieve the painful toothaches that lead to a need for root canal therapy. We’ll start by ensuring your comfort with local anesthesia and/or dental sedation. Then, we drill a small hole into the center of the tooth and extract the entire damaged tissue. Next, we use a biocompatible substance called gutta percha to refill the tooth. Finally, we’ll reseal the access point to protect the treated tooth.
What happens after treatment?
Following endodontic treatment, you’ll likely need to have a dental crown placed. While we try to avoid removing unnecessary healthy tooth structure, placing a dental crown is a great way to protect your root canal treated teeth and prevent additional damage. You will either return to your general dentistry office or visit a prosthodontist who specializes in advanced restorations as indicated by your family dentist.
Complications following endodontic treatment are extremely rare, but they do occur. If you experience severe toothache or sensitivity within the first few days of treatment, please call our office right away.
Richardson Endodontic Retreatment
If you continue to perform thorough at-home hygiene and visit your general dentist for cleanings and checkups, you should not experience any lasting concerns associated with your root canal. If endodontic work completed in our office or another fails, we may be able to save the tooth using endodontic retreatment.
Improper healing may be caused by:
- Missed canals – during treatment, one or more tiny root canals may have been missed, and this can lead to reinfection and discomfort.
- Improper restoration – if a dental crown was not placed to provide extra protection and strength or it cracks or breaks away, you may need retreatment.
- Flawed in some cases, the tooth is not adequately sealed and saliva is able to access the inner tooth layer.
In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:
Even if your tooth was treated properly by an experienced endodontist, your restoration materials may break down over time allowing decay to destroy the filling materials and infect the tooth. This can happen if a filling is broken away or a crown comes loose or breaks. If we determine retreatment is the best option for your smile, we’ll need to reopen the tooth and remove the filling materials. Dr. Ortiz will completely clean the inside of the tooth and all the canals removing damaged tissue and decay. Once this cleaning is complete, we’ll once again refill and reseal the tooth.