Root Canal Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ
When a damaged or decayed tooth has become infected, there’s often only one treatment option to avoid extraction: root canal therapy. This procedure can rid your tooth of infected dental pulp and restore its original form and function, preserving your natural, healthy smile.
Dr. Seerat Mann, Dr. Todd Shatkin, and the team at Mini Dental Implants of America in Scottsdale offer root canal therapy to all of our clients looking to save an infected tooth and restore their smile.
While this particular treatment was once regarded as something to dread, we assure you that with the help of modern technology and advanced techniques we’re able to offer root canal treatment that is less uncomfortable and has a shorter recovery period than ever before.
If you’d like to learn more about root canal therapy, read on for all you need to know.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a procedure designed to save a damaged or decayed tooth that has become infected.
The dentist performing the procedure first removes the dental pulp inside the tooth, and thoroughly cleans the tiny canals that make up the inner tooth and root. Those spaces are then filled with a biocompatible rubber-like substance called gutta-percha. After that, a dental crown or other dental restoration is often placed on the tooth for added protection.
In general, your dentist will recommend root canal therapy as a last option before the extraction of the tooth. Although there are options for tooth replacement in the event that you do have an extraction, it’s almost always preferable to keep your natural tooth, which is part of what makes root canal therapy such an incredible procedure.
Do I Need A Root Canal?
If you haven’t seen your dentist recently, and you’re experiencing considerable tooth pain, you may be wondering whether you need root canal therapy.
There are a variety of reasons why your tooth may be bothering you other than an infection of the dental pulp, but if you’re also experiencing any of the following symptoms then you may very well be in need of root canal therapy.
Tooth and Jaw Pain
Again, there are many reasons why you may be experiencing tooth pain, but if the pain is significant and it’s making its way from your tooth to your jaw—or even your face—that may be an indication that root canal therapy is necessary. This is especially true if the pain remains persistent over a period of days or weeks.
Tooth Sensitivity to Heat or Cold
An infected tooth can become a lot more sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. If you wince from a sip of a hot drink or a little bit of ice cream, then that may mean that it’s time to talk to your dentist.
Swelling of Gums and Jaw
Infections can often accumulate pus, and when the pus builds up enough it can cause swelling in both your gums and your jaw. With this swelling, you may experience increased tenderness in your gums, as well.
If you find that the tooth that’s bothering you feels looser, it may be a result of your jawbone weakening due to an infection. The most likely solution for this is root canal therapy.
Cracked or broken teeth can let bacteria inside, which in turn can result in an infection of the dental pulp. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms on a tooth that has been damaged, chances are there’s an infection that needs to be tended to with root canal therapy.
Pimples on Gums
Pus collecting around the infected tooth can result in the growth of pimples on the gums. These pimples can burst, releasing pus with an unpleasant smell and taste. These are telltale signs that you need a root canal.
Discoloration of the Tooth
If blood flow to your infected tooth is poor, the lack of oxygen can cause the tooth to become a grayish color. If you experience a darkening of your tooth, contact your dentist about it as soon as possible.
It’s important not to self-diagnose when dealing with any medical issue, so be careful not to jump to any conclusions about your tooth pain. Reach out to your dentist as soon as possible to have them take a look at your mouth. They can help you make a determination about how to treat the issue.
The Root Canal Procedure Explained
If you and your dentist have recently decided that root canal therapy is the best option for treating your infected tooth, you’re probably wondering what the procedure is going to be like. We’ve detailed the process below so you know what to expect when your appointment date arrives.
Before you go in for your procedure, you’ll have dental X-rays taken so that your dentist can better assess the infection and determine whether you’re a good candidate for root canal therapy. If you are, you’ll schedule your appointment, and your dentist will give you your root canal therapy preparation instructions.
On the day of your appointment, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area of the procedure. You may also be given a relaxing sedative to help move the procedure along smoothly and keep you comfortable.
Removing the Infection
In order to clean the infection out of your tooth, your dentist will make a small hole, and then use specialized instruments to remove the infected dental pulp. Dental pulp is a collection of tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that make up the inner tooth.
After the infected dental pulp is removed, your dentist will go about cleaning and disinfecting the various tiny canals inside the teeth, making sure to find any hard to reach areas where infection may still reside.
Refilling and Sealing the Tooth
Once the inner tooth has been adequately cleaned and disinfected, your dentist will refill it with a bio-compatible rubber-like substance called gutta-percha. The tooth will then be resealed to keep it protected from further infection.
The Finishing Touches
Often, a dental crown is needed to provide added protection for the tooth. This process may require a second visit. If that’s the case, you’ll have a temporary filling placed in your tooth to keep it safe while the crown is made.
How Long Does a Root Canal Procedure Take?
After reading all about what root canal therapy entails, you might be surprised to learn that it usually only takes an hour or less to complete. This can vary depending on the severity of the case and the size of the tooth, but at its longest, you can generally expect the root canal procedure to take no more than an hour and a half.
The Recovery Process
Recovery from your root canal procedure shouldn’t take more than a week, and you can even expect to be feeling significantly less discomfort in a matter of just a few days.
Your dentist may prescribe painkillers, or they may simply suggest an over-the-counter product that can help reduce any pain you may be experiencing. Just make sure to stick to your dentist’s recovery instructions, and you should be back to your normal life before you know it.
Schedule A Free Consultation Today!
If you think you may need root canal therapy, contact Mini Dental Implants of America in Scottsdale today for a free consultation. We serve patients in Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and throughout the State of Arizona.