Deep beneath the enamel in the inner part of a tooth lies the pulp. It is indeed the heart of the tooth, containing both the nerve endings and the blood vessels that nourish the tooth. If the protective enamel is weakened by external trauma or decay or more than a few dental procedures have been performed on a particular tooth, the pulp can become susceptible to infection.
If your tooth pulp has been injured you may experience symptoms including swelling, sensitivity and significant pain. A examination and x-rays may determine that you will need a root canal treatment in order to save the tooth and keep from having to have an implant or a dental bridge installed.
A root canal is a common procedure and is done in dental offices over the country every day, so don’t panic at the thought. Today’s technology allows for non-surgical root canal procedures to be used in the majority of cases. It can usually be done in one visit with the use of a local anesthetic. The dentist will remove the damaged part of the pulp and if infection is found he will apply medication. Then the canal will be sealed with a paste like substance. A badly infected tooth may require a crown for extra protection from further harm.
As with any extensive dental treatment there may be a minimal amount of discomfort afterward. The after effects of a root canal therapy are no worse than with having an extraction. Over the counter pain relievers are normally enough to reduce symptoms or your dentist can prescribe a stronger medication. If further restoration is scheduled, you should be careful when chewing until it is completed.
The success rate for non-surgical root canal procedures is high. Much will depend on the condition of the pulp when first diagnosed. Good oral hygiene and regular dental maintenance will also affect a favorable long term outcome.
Spokane Valley Dentistry is located in Spokane Valley, WA. The doctors there specialize in both restorative and cosmetic procedures. Call 509 – 927 – 6261 for all your dental needs.