Endodontic Treatment (Root Canal)
Sometimes patients come to us with pain or after noting a bubble that has formed on their gum. These symptoms may be signs of infection requiring endodontic treatment, also known as a root canal. Dr. Alder can help. Using digital x-rays, he is able to see what cannot be seen with the naked eye. If repair is needed, Dr. Alder can remove the infection and, in most cases, save your tooth from extraction.
When is a root canal needed?
Root canals are needed when the pulp of the tooth has become infected.
Our teeth are comprised of layers. The hard layer you can see is the enamel, below that layer is another hard layer called dentin. Below the dentin is the soft portion of your tooth known as the pulp. The pulp is a blend of various materials including blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp creates your surrounding hard tissues during development, but is no longer needed once the tooth is fully developed.
The removal of the pulp and the bacteria that is causing the infection is known as endodontic treatment.
What is endodontic treatment?
Endodontic refers to the inside portion of our teeth. Endodontic treatment is the treating, or repair of the inside portion of our teeth.
Why would I need an endodontic procedure?
Dr. Alder recommends Endodontic treatment when the pulp has become infected. Infection inside your tooth will not heal on its own, treatment is needed to save the tooth from extraction.
How did the pulp of my tooth get infected?
Infection can arise from a variety of causes. All that is needed for infection is for passage of bacteria to the inside of your tooth. This could occur from a deep cavity or decay, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. Additionally, an impact injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks.
What will Dr. Alder do to remove the infection?
To remove the infection, Dr. Alder will use a drill to gain access to the pulp. He will then remove the pulp, and the bacteria along with it. He will fill the now empty space with a medicated rubber material, and then cover the space with a filling material. Depending on the placement of the tooth, and the extent of damage, Dr. Alder may recommend a dental crown to protect the remaining portion of the tooth.
Are root canals painful?
What our patients may not understand is that endodontic treatment does not cause pain, but relieves it. Dr. Alder relieves the pain of infection that is already brewing. At Alder Dental, we will help make you comfortable with one of several pain relieving options.
For the first few days following treatment, many patients report feeling tooth sensitivity, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Over the counter pain relievers should be able to alleviate any discomfort.
For more information on root canals and endodontic treatment, contact Brian Alder, DDS, at our Vancouver, WA office. (360) 831-0831