Root canal therapy is focused on treating damage deep inside your tooth so you can save your tooth and prevent extraction and tooth loss. As leading dentists in Renton, Washington, Dr. Rick Sodergren and Dr. Deborah Gur-Arie help men and women at First Impressions Dental Care relieve tooth pain caused by deep decay and damage, using advanced methods to remove the damaged areas of the tooth and restore it to look healthy and beautiful.
Most of us think of our teeth in terms of the outer portions we see - mainly the enamel. But teeth also have a central pulp portion that contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that keep the tooth healthy. The pulp runs from the center of the tooth to the root in narrow channels or canals. Root canal therapy, or RCT, uses techniques developed to treat damaged or decayed pulp contained in these canals, removing the pulp then sealing and filling the space to prevent further damage and avoid the need for a tooth extraction.
Root canals use similar techniques as a “regular” filling. First, the tooth is numbed and the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth is removed. Then, Dr. Sodergren or Dr. Gur-Arie will carefully clean the canal, seal it, and apply a special filling before preparing the tooth for a crown. An impression will be made of your tooth and you’ll receive a temporary crown to protect it. When you return in couple of weeks, you’ll have the permanent crown placed on your tooth.
Dr. Sodergren and Dr. Gur-Arie use state-of-the-art pain management techniques to prevent discomfort during and after root canal procedures. In addition to local anesthetics, oral sedatives are also available to help you relax and stay comfortable. Plus you can manage any mild discomfort after your procedure with over-the-counter pain medication.
Yes, once the pulp is removed from the center of your tooth, the tooth itself can become weak and more prone to damage. Plus, in most cases, the tooth will become discolored. The crown surrounds the entire tooth to protect it and strengthen it, and it also hides discoloration so your tooth looks healthy.
Sometimes, an extraction is the only solution. But when possible, it’s always preferable to save a natural tooth. Saving your tooth means your bite balance will remain unchanged so you can avoid uneven tooth wear and bite imbalances that can lead to decay and chronic jaw pain. Plus, preserving a natural tooth is more convenient (and usually more comfortable) than wearing a denture or bridge, and it’s usually much less costly than having an extraction and a restoration.