Root Canal (Endodontics)
A dental infection can occur at any time, and will usually cause a severe toothache, chronic bad breath, gum abscesses, or other symptoms.
Without proper treatment, these problems will worsen, and the infection will eventually destroy the pulp of your tooth.
Root canal therapy typically provides the most effective treatment for an infected tooth. During a root canal treatment, Dr. Joseph Haack will remove all infected tissue from the tooth, clean it out, and restore it with a filling or dental crown.
Many believe that root canal therapy will cause a lot of pain. In fact, the infection itself causes the intense pain, while the root canal procedure actually relieves the discomfort caused by the infection.
To learn more about root canal treatments, call our Alexandria, MN, dental office today at (320) 763-7484 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Haack.
How Does a Tooth Become Infected?
The bacteria in your mouth consume sugars contained in starches, forming acids as a byproduct. The acids will eat away at your dental enamel and, in time, a cavity will develop. If the decay goes untreated, bacteria will eventually infect the soft inner pulp of the tooth.
Your dental nerves run from this central area down through your root canals. Therefore, when the pulp is infected, the bacteria will quickly spread all along the roots into your jawbone. A cracked tooth can also become infected, since the opening will give bacteria access to the deeper tissues.
Why We Perform Root Canal Treatments
Should you find yourself experiencing a toothache, call us as soon as possible and we will try to get you in to see Dr. Haack the same day.
Occasionally, the doctor can relieve the toothache with a quick, simple procedure. If the doctor discovers, however, that the pain is caused by decay that has infected the pulp of your tooth, you will need a root canal.
As infection reaches the soft inner pulp of your tooth, it can cause pain so severe that it wakes you from a dead sleep. Your tooth may feel as though it’s throbbing. Once the pulp becomes infected, the dentist can no longer save it, and it dies. The blood vessels and nerve endings in the infected pulp of the tooth will cause your excruciating pain.
During a root canal therapy, Dr. Haack will remove the infected, dying pulp tissue along with the nerve endings, relieving your pain. Contrary to popular belief, the treatment itself does not cause much discomfort. Most compare a root canal treatment to the feeling of having a cavity filled.
Root canal therapy does more than just eliminate your discomfort and restore your dental function. If left untreated, the bacteria will spread, decimating your tooth, and you will eventually need to have the tooth extracted. Root canal therapy can prevent this from happening and keep the infection from spreading to your other teeth, your gums, and even your jawbone.
What You Can Expect During a Root Canal Treatment
The root canal treatment will begin with a consultation with Dr. Haack. He will review your dental history and perform a comprehensive exam, focusing on the infected tooth. The treatment will start with the doctor using a local anesthesia to numb the problem tooth and the area around it.
When the tooth becomes numb, the doctor will isolate it and drill a small access hole, which will allow him to reach the infection. He will remove the infected pulp tissue, taking all the nerves with it, which will leave the tooth unable to feel pain.
Next, Dr. Haack will thoroughly clean the root canals, using antiseptic and antibacterial solutions to disinfect them. He will then use a specialized instrument to shape the canals to prepare them for filling, and clean them one more time, to remove any debris left behind.
The doctor will fill the root canals with gutta-percha, a material similar to rubber, which will seal the canals and prevent further infection. Finally, the doctor will seal the access hole with a composite resin filling material and cover the tooth with a temporary crown to seal the tooth.
About a week later, you will return to have a permanent crown placed over the site, which will protect the tooth from any further infection.
After Your Procedure
Dr. Haack may prescribe you an antibiotic to help prevent further infection. You may experience some minor discomfort for the first few days after treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen should take care of any pain.
Continue to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once, and attend regular dental checkups and cleanings every six month to keep your teeth healthy and avoid future toothaches.
Call Us Today
If you experience a painful toothache, and think you may need a root canal treatment, call our Alexandria, MN, dental office right away at (320) 763-7484, and we will get you in to see Dr. Haack as quickly as possible.