A root canal is a procedure that is used to remove the soft tissues from the inner chambers of the tooth, including the root and pulp. Several things can lead to the need for a root canal treatment, but most commonly it is due to decay. At Pacific Dental Care, our Glendale endodontist, may recommend a root canal treatment if you have nerve damage in the tooth, a badly decayed tooth, a tooth that is fractured or cracked, for an abscessed tooth.
Our endodontist in Glendale will begin the procedure by examining the tooth. A visual exam and dental X-rays might be used to determine the best way to proceed with treatment, to identify the number and location of root canals, and to create a treatment plan. We will then use local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding tissues. To remove the soft tissues inside of the tooth, we create a small access point from the top of the crown. This access point allows us to conservatively treat the tooth. Root canals can be used to save the teeth that might otherwise be vulnerable to dental extraction or other expensive treatments.
The soft tissues inside the tooth include the nerve, blood vessels and other tissues, which serve to provide sensation and nourish the growing tooth. Once the tooth is fully developed and erupted, these tissues are not strictly needed anymore, which means that the tooth can continue to function even without them. Our Glendale endodontist can remove these tissues and seal the root canals to prevent further infection or damage. In most cases, a permanent crown is placed over the treated tooth to protect and strengthen it after treatment.
Once the root canal is finished, you might notice an immediate reduction in pain and discomfort. However, some patients continue to experience some tenderness as the inflammation subsides. This is most likely when the tooth is badly infected and surrounding tissues are extremely inflamed. Good dental hygiene and good dental habits are all that is needed to promote healing in most cases. However, our endodontist in Glendale might also prescribe antibiotics or pain medications to ensure the best results.