By Valencia Endodontic Associates –
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics, or Root Canal Therapy, is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the center of the tooth, the pulp, and surrounding tissues of the tooth. A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by inflammation or infection of the pulp tissue.
Root Canal Therapy Relieves Pain
The very words “Root Canal” can conjure up images of pain. In fact, root canal treatment relieves dental pain. Trained in the latest techniques and state-of-the-art technology, our expert team led by respected Endodontic specialists, Dr. Ronald Wollard and Dr. Chad Wollard, will ensure you receive the best possible Endodontic care, from the simplest to the most complicated case.
Symptoms Requiring Root Canal Therapy
There are numerous symptoms associated with a tooth that needs root canal treatment. Signs of infection and inflammation can be identified as pain in the tooth and gums, including: swelling or tenderness, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, or discoloration of the tooth. The inflammation or infection may be a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, a sharp blow to a tooth may cause pulpal damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Root canal treatment should take place before the infection gets too serious. An Endodontist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation from spreading to the surrounding tissues and bone. After successful Endodontic treatment, the tooth should feel normal yet will never have any hot or cold sensation.
Non-Surgical Root Canal Therapy
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical Root Canal Therapy to eliminate the diseased pulp tissue, referring you to an Endodontic specialist. Endodontic treatment is often completed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:
Step 1 – The Endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth to determine whether or not Root Canal Therapy is warranted to resolve the symptoms. Local anesthetic is administered to numb the tooth. After the tooth is numb, the Endodontist places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
Step 2 – The Endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for the filling material.
Step 3 – After the space is cleaned and shaped, the Endodontist fills the root canals with a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha.” The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canal spaces.
Step 4 – After the visit with your Endodontist, your dentist will have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. You will be able to drive home after your treatment. Post-operative discomfort may vary, but is typically alleviated by over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with inflamed or infected pulp tissue from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the surrounding tissues and your Endodontist will recommend surgery. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection.
Expertise. Skill. Compassion.
Setting the standard for excellence, Valencia Endodontic Associates specializes in non-surgical and surgical Endodontic procedures. As a patient-centered practice, our primary goal is to make our patient’s experience before, during, and after the procedure as enjoyable as possible, providing the highest standard of professionalism in a caring and comfortable environment. Endodontists must complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in Endodontics. In addition to Endodontics, we are experienced at finding the cause of orofacial pain that can be very difficult to diagnose.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call 816-561-9666, or visit us online at www.valenciaendodontics.com.