What is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment (endodontics) is required when there is irreversible damage done to the nerves of teeth (pulp). Expedited treatment is very important so that the infection does not spread to other teeth or to the bloodstream and so the natural tooth can be preserved. Without treatment, infected teeth may need to be extracted.
Causes & Symptoms
There are two main causes of infection: decay (cavities) or trauma to the nerves (fractures). Symptoms of infection are typical, but some people may have none at all. With regular dental visits, you will remain informed of your mouth’s health. Some of the most common symptoms of infection are:
• lengthy, severe tooth pain that can radiate to your temple, jaw or ears
• swelling of the gums (can sometimes look like a pimple)
• pain when biting
• sensitivity to heat
• sensitivity to cold, even after stimulus is removed
Root Canal Overview
Dr. Frank P. Bruno, general dentist in Las Vegas, first prepares the patient’s mouth and administers an anesthetic (reversible loss of sensation). Then, a rubber dam is placed around the treated tooth/teeth to be treated. The rubber dam also helps to manage the water produced in the process so that the patient does not have to swallow. Once in place, Dr. Bruno drills a tiny hole in the top of the tooth so that his instrument (dental file) is able to access the pulp chamber of the root (where the nerves are located). Once accessed, the pulp chamber is cleared and x-rays are taken to ensure that the entire infection has been removed.
After examination and approval of the x-rays, the pulp chamber is filled/plugged with gutta-percha, a permanent latex material. Sometimes, a post (acting as a new “core”) is inserted for extra support and to help build up the tooth. Afterwards, the opening is sealed with a filling. Most often, the tooth is then protected and strengthened with placement of a dental crown. Learn more about dental crowns here.
If you are having any of the above symptoms, contact Dr. Bruno, general dentist in Las Vegas, immediately!