Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is one of the treatments provided by Southern Endodontic Specialists that could help to save your teeth. We use the top technological tools available to our practice to ensure patient comfort and procedure outcomes when performing root canal therapy and all other endodontic treatments.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a non-surgical treatment to help preserve a tooth. This procedure takes one to two visits to an endodontist and is often the only means of helping you to keep your tooth. After successful root canal therapy, you will find the pain and discomfort that sent you to seek treatment disappears.
The teeth have several layers, the innermost of which is the pulp. This core pulp contains tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that your tooth needs during its growth period. After your tooth is fully developed, it can survive intact without the pulp.
When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, the nerves inside send pain messages to your brain. You may notice sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods or have pain when biting down. Occasionally, patients who need root canal treatment have no pain but notice swelling on their gums or a pimple-like protrusion at the base of a tooth. Any of these indicate that you could have an infection inside a tooth that needs removal. Without treatment, the infection could spread outside the tooth. You might even lose the tooth without getting root canal treatment.
Root Canal Therapy FAQs
Root canal therapy is one of the most commonly performed procedures at endodontic clinics. However, it is also one that patients have the most questions about, such as the following:
Are Root Canal Treatments Safe?
Root canal treatments are very safe. In fact, with modern technology and best practices, the treatment does not pose a risk to the rest of the body. Additionally, there has never been any evidence showing any connection between root canal treatment and cancer. Failing to get treatment could result in the loss of a tooth or an abscess.
Why Should I Go to an Endodontist for a Root Canal Treatment?
Endodontists perform many more root canal therapies each week than dentists. According to the American Association of Endodontics, dentists usually do one or two root canal treatments weekly, whereas endodontists perform up to 25. Endodontists also have specialized training in working on the microscopic passages inside your tooth and how to manage patients’ pain.
What Is the Standard of Care to Protect Patients During Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapies today use many methods to help keep patients healthy. One standard of care used by endodontists is a dental dam. These sheets of rubber isolate the tooth the endodontist does the root canal on and protect the inside of the mouth from debris that the procedure may release.
Are Root Canal Therapies Painful?
Contrary to the myths, root canal treatments are not painful. They are typically pain-free because the endodontist uses their training in pain management to ensure that you do not feel anything during the treatment. They use local anesthesia to numb your mouth so you will not have any pain. Since the treatment takes out the painfully inflamed pulp from inside your tooth, you should also have pain relief once the discomfort from the root canal heals.
What Happens During Root Canal Treatment?
Your endodontist will numb the area during a root canal and use tools to open the tooth. At Southern Endodontic Specialists, we use the GentleWave procedure as an alternative to traditional tools to clean out the pulp from the tooth. This system allows our doctors to use smaller openings and save more of your tooth during the procedure. Plus, the GentleWave procedure can reach deep into the smallest canal passages to effectively clean out debris, infected tissue, and bacteria.
After our endodontist cleans out your tooth with GentleWave, they will seal the interior and fill it. You will need to follow up with our doctors after the procedure to ensure proper healing. Plus, you may need to return to your dentist for a crown.
How Many Visits Does Root Canal Therapy Require?
The structure of your tooth and the extent of the infection determine how many appointments you will need. However, thanks to the use of the GentleWave procedure in both our locations, we can typically complete root canal therapy in a single visit. You will still need to return for a follow-up appointment to verify that your tooth is healing well.
How Successful Are Root Canal Treatments?
Root canal treatment features a 93% success rate. However, problems with the tooth may occur in the future if you have decay or cracking. Therefore, you should continue to care for your tooth after root canal treatment and follow all guidelines from the endodontist about follow-up care and getting a crown.
Forget the Myths That You’ve Heard About Root Canal Therapy
Myths abound about root canal treatment. However, these do not have any basis. See if you have heard any of the myths below, and rest assured that they are not true:
Myth: Root Canal Treatments Are Painful
Today, root canal therapy is highly successful and causes the same amount of discomfort afterward as a filling does. Endodontists have extra training to become experts in pain management. Therefore, they know how to perform this non-surgical procedure, so you don’t feel any pain.
Myth: It’s Better to Have an Extraction Than Root Canal Therapy
Tooth extraction is a decision that will impact your entire smile. While extraction is the only alternative to root canal therapy for many, it also has a longer healing time, causes more pain, comes with the chance of developing a dry socket, and creates a hole in your smile.
If you choose an implant to fill the gap, you will face multiple surgeries to place the implant screw and crown into the spot. When comparing costs, extraction and implant are much more expensive and take much longer than root canal therapy.
Myth: Root Canal Therapy Spreads Infection or Causes Disease
Root canal therapies don’t contribute to cancer or other diseases. In fact, these treatments can stop the infection from spreading outside your tooth and keep you healthy.
About Us at Southern Endodontic Specialists
If your dentist suggests root canal therapy, contact one of our locations at Southern Endodontic Specialists. Our Tri-Parish Area sites are in Houma and Thibodaux. Our highly qualified endodontists, Dr. Benjamin Ber and Dr. Steven Gaudet, treat patients at both locations. So, no matter which location you visit, you will get the same high-quality endodontic care.
Trust our team at Southern Endodontic Specialists with the health of your teeth by coming to us when you need root canal therapy or any other endodontic treatment. We’re here to exceed your expectations with our "from the heart" customer service and professional treatments.