Root Canal Therapy
Generally considered one of the most feared of all dental procedures, a root canal is very misunderstood. Root canal therapy is not a painful procedure, because the pain already existed, we are simply releasing the pain as we remove the source of the pain. Allowing the bacteria to continue to fester by ignoring the issue will only cause more pain, and possibly larger procedures undertake. At Anchorage Dental Associates, we recommend resolving issues quickly, while the problems are smaller.
What is a Root Canal?
A "root canal," is known in dentistry as endodontic therapy. This procedure is available in order to help a patient save a tooth, that would otherwise require extraction in order to stop the infection from spreading. When bacteria has found passage into the root of the tooth, your body is incapable of removing the bacterial source and healing, so the problem persists and then travels to neighboring teeth. As the problem grows, so does your discomfort and the amount of time and money that it will take to restore. Our team, including Dr. Charles Michael and Dr. Charles Spalding can help.
How did the canal of my tooth become infected?
There are many ways that the root of your tooth has become infected, and sometimes we may not be able to give you an answer. What we can tell you is that bacteria found passage. The most common reason for passage is due to a deep cavity. Decay that has been left in place and allowed to intensify until it reaches the pulp is common, and can lead to a good deal of pain. Other ways that bacteria finds passage is through cracks, possibly even microscopic cracks, trauma to the tooth, wear from bruxism, or because the tooth has been worked on before and bacteria found a miniscule passage between the filling and the tooth. Any area of weakness, even if it can not be seen, can be a spot that bacteria can settle.
Once the bacteria has traveled to the canal, it can rage with infection, causing you either a constant dull or annoying discomfort or even extreme pain.
In the past, the only way to stop the infection was to pull the tooth. Today, we can save the tooth by going inside and removing the pulp and root of the tooth. The materials found inside your tooth were necessary while growing the tooth, but once it is fully out and set in place, it no longer is needed. Dr. Charles Michael or Dr. Charles Spalding will remove the inner portion of your tooth, including the pulp, the nerve, and any infected material. They will then clean the canal with a medicated cleanser, and fill the space with an anti-bacterial rubber material. The tooth is covered with a filling material and depending on where the tooth is located in your mouth, we will most likely recommend the placement of a dental crown. A crown will provide additional strength to the tooth because it is weakened through this process.
Root canal therapy is the treatment of choice for saving a tooth, which is always preferred to having a tooth removed. Extracting a tooth will ultimately be more costly and a source of future oral health problems.