Root Canals by Paul Krause Dental in Omaha

Root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed, and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done to remove tooth pain from an infected tooth is the dental procedure of choice to save an affected tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.

If you do indeed need a root canal, the treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime. There are always risks of infections that can occur. We encourage regular dental visits and care to limit that possibility. Root canal safety and saving the natural tooth is the first priority of root canal specialists.

 

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness around the tooth, blood vessels or gum.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

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What does root canal therapy involve?

Root canal treatments require one or more appointments and can be performed by a general dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist). 

While the diseased tooth is numb from a local anesthesia applied in house, an access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the infected pulp, connective tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a permanent crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking and restore it to its full function. After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given American Dental Association care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment while lowering the risk of repeated dental procedures.