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The Chicago Implant Dentist Explains Root Canal Therapy, Part 3
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Welcome to the third installment of this four-part article series on endodontic therapy or “root canals”. So far we’ve explained what this treatment is, why it’s necessary, how you can tell whether your tooth needs to be treated and how the dentist makes a diagnosis. Now, the Chicago implant dentist turns our attention to the most frequently asked of questions regarding root canal therapy: what does the treatment entail and does it hurt?
What Does Endodontic Therapy Entail?
In most cases, a root canal can be done in a single dental appointment and involves the following steps…
Anesthetic and Sedation
Your procedure begins with the gentle numbing of the gums surrounding the tooth. If you are particularly nervous or anxious about dental treatment, you have the option to receive nitrous oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) or even an oral sedative. Simply ask your dentist beforehand what sedative options they offer.
Removal of the Diseased Pulp
The Chicago implant dentist will then expose the pulp chamber by creating a hole in the biting surface of the tooth. Through this access point, all of the diseased pulp will be removed. Remember, your tooth will be completely numbed, so you won’t experience any pain throughout.
Measurement of the Root Canals
Your dentist will need to measure the length of your root canals to ensure that absolutely all of the pulp, nerves and blood vessels have been extracted, and to determine how much filling material to use. Measurement is typically done using an apex locator and/or an X-ray.
Cleaning of the Tooth
Once the length of the root canal/s has been determined, the Chicago implant dentist will make use of a special array of dental tools to carefully clean the insides of the tooth to ensure that it doesn’t become re-infected. The tooth is then thoroughly washed out with an anti-septic solution.
Filling and Restoring the Tooth
When the specialist is happy with the cleaning job, he or she will fill the root canals and pulp chamber with special dental cement called “gutta percha.” The tooth is then covered with a temporary filling and a dental crown, which will protect the tooth from fracturing or cracking. It will also enable you to eat properly and of course, smile without self-consciousness. You may have to return to the dentist to get a permanent filling and crown placed.
What Happens After a Root Canal?
“The use of anesthesia during the procedure will effectively prevent you from experiencing any pain while the tooth is being treated,” explains the All-On-4 dental implants specialist in Chicago. “Once the procedure is complete and the numbing medication has worn off, you may experience some tenderness in the gums surrounding the tooth, but the tooth itself won’t hurt because all the nerves inside it have been removed. In any case, this discomfort and sensitivity should disappear within a few days.”
“Many Chicago residents worry about what the tooth will look and feel like after root canal therapy. Since the tooth has had its pulp removed, it won’t respond to temperature, however, the nerves and tissues surrounding the tooth are still healthy, so it will respond to touch, temperature and pressure. Treated teeth still feel natural,” assures the Chicago implant dentist. “They also look natural, since the visible tooth structure hasn’t been changed in any way.”
Stay Tuned for Part 4
Stay tuned next week for the final installment of this four part article series to find out more about the length of treatment and what the various benefits of a “root canal” are.
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