When tooth decay or damage are so severe that a simple filling won’t do, a root canal may be the answer. Also known as endodontic therapy, a root canal is often the last resort before extraction is needed. Save your natural tooth and enjoy a healthy smile once again. Dr. Steele and the team at Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry are highly experienced in root canal therapy in Glendale.
They are two of the most dreaded words in dentistry, but anyone who has ever had a root canal will probably tell you it’s nothing compared to the original toothache. A root canal is usually the only way to find relief from extreme discomfort. The treatment is necessary when the soft tissue inside the tooth (the pulp, commonly called the “nerve”) becomes infected. How to know when you need a root canal? The most common reasons your dentist will recommend endodontic therapy include the following.
- Restoring a severely decayed or abscessed tooth
- Fixing a deep crack or chip in the tooth
- After multiple dental procedures leave the tooth weak
- Following an injury to the tooth that damages the pulp
Do not wait to seek treatment when you suspect you have a major problem requiring root canal. Left untreated, an infection in the tooth can quickly spread to other parts of the body. Tooth loss is also imminent without prompt attention.
The root canal procedure is completed in one to two visits to your dentist’s office. The amount of time it takes to complete your treatment depends on the severity of the infection in the root canal. Here is what you can expect when you undergo a root canal procedure at Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry.
First, local anesthesia will be administered at the treatment site. Nitrous oxide is also available for calming anxious nerves before and during the root canal procedure. Once you are completely comfortable, the treatment can begin.
An access hole is created in the chewing surface or in the back of the tooth. Through this entry point, the infected pulp is completely removed. Your dentist then cleans, reshapes, and measures the inside of the tooth. Based on these measurements, a biocompatible material called gutta percha fills the tooth’s interior.
If two visits are necessary for your root canal, a temporary filling will be placed while healing takes place. An antibiotic may be prescribed to completely eliminate the infection. If the procedure can be completed in one visit, the permanent filling or crown will be placed on the same day.
After you have undergone root canal therapy, you will experience the side effects associated with any oral surgery. Your dentist will provide advice on how to deal with discomfort, swelling, and minor bleeding. Maintain a soft foods diet, avoiding straws and rinsing for the first few days. Take pain medication as recommended and plan to take it easy to ensure a safe, speedy recovery.
If your root canal treatment takes place over the course of two appointments, be careful with your temporary filling or crown between visits. Do not chew on that side of the mouth, and avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods altogether.
Do you have additional questions regarding an upcoming root canal? Please don’t hesitate to contact Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry to discuss your restorative dental care. Get in touch with us today!
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry. Dr. Steele cares for patients from Glendale, Avondale, Phoenix, North Scottsdale, Deer Valley Village, Peoria and the surrounding Arizona communities. If this will be your first exam with us, please take a moment to briefly review our new patients page, which provides beneficial information for those unfamiliar with our practice. Dr. Steele and the entire Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry team look forward to assisting as you improve and maintain your overall oral health.