Root Canal Therapy
Many people have heard that root canals are painful. Root canals actually relieve the pain by removing the source of the pain, the pulp (or nerve) of the tooth.
Many reasons result in a nerve causing pain:
- A cavity that reached the nerve and infected it with bacteria
- A cavity or filling which was near enough to the nerve to cause it to die
- Trauma to a tooth
- A cracked tooth
Diagnosis Of An Infection
At All American Dental, Dr. Wietholder will complete an evaluation to determine the specific tooth that is the source of your pain. This is done by completing a thorough examination with special testing in the painful area and with x-rays. We also utilize our 3-D x-ray for diagnosis and treatment in root canal cases. This allows Dr. Wietholder to see amazing detail of the painful area and helps to ensure an accurate diagnosis. The images also give a good picture of the pulp of the tooth that aid in treatment should a root canal be recommended.
Not all teeth that require root canals are painful, however. Frequently a non-painful abscess may occur or an infection may be found on an x-ray at the end of the roots of a tooth. These are infections that may not be causing pain, but that require root canal treatment to clear up the infection. Antibiotic medication can clear up the infection temporarily, but without a root canal, the infection will return.
What Is a Root Canal?
This procedure involves cleaning out the nerve inside of the tooth and filling it with a rubber sealer material. Through this process, we remove the bacteria and dead nerve tissue causing the infection. The tooth will no longer be able to feel hot or cold, as the nerve will be gone. Your root canal may be completed in one or two visits depending on your specific situation. Often a crown is required after a root canal to help protect the tooth from fracturing. Having a root canal and crown allows you to keep your natural tooth.
Root Canal vs. Extraction (pulling the tooth)
Having a root canal or an extraction are usually the only two ways to fix an infected tooth. Having a root canal allows you to continue to use your own tooth as normal. Pulling a tooth leaves a void in your bite and smile, which can lead to shifting of the teeth, poor chewing capacity, and will affect your smile. If you choose an extraction or if Dr. Wietholder determines that your tooth is not savable, even with root canal therapy, a dental implant may be an option for you.
Call All American Dental in Columbia, MO at 573-449-1918 to schedule your consultation.