Understanding root canal therapyRoot canal therapy, sometimes known as endodontic therapy, is a procedure that is used to remove the dental pulp from within a tooth and address the infection that can sometimes occur. Root canal therapy is a common procedure done at Miami Modern Dental, and is nothing patients should worry about. Many patients think that root canal therapy is painful, but it actually addresses the pain. It is done without pain, thanks to local anesthetics and proper sedation. Our team is here to walk patients through the process and help them understand how the procedure works.
Why root canal therapy may be neededThere are many times in which a patient may be told they can benefit from root canal therapy. The procedure may be done when patients have:
- An infection
- Large cavities
- Periodontal disease
- An abscess
- An injury
The procedureOnce patients have been told they could benefit from this procedure, they often want to work with the team at Miami Modern Dental to have it performed. It starts with x-rays to check the status of the tooth before undergoing treatment. Once this has been completed, the dentist plans out the procedure. Patients are anesthetized and sedated to ensure they are comfortable for their treatment. After patients are relaxed and ready, the dentist will access the inner portion of the tooth through a small hole. Specialized instruments are used to remove the dental pulp from within the canals of the tooth and then the area is disinfected. Once this has been completed and all bacteria has been removed from inside of the tooth, the dentist will fill the tooth canals with a material called gutta percha. This is a rubber material that is used in natural teeth as a way to keep bacteria from reentering the tooth. Additionally, the tooth is sealed with composite resin. In some cases, patients may need to have a dental crown placed. Dental crowns are porcelain restorations that are custom-made to cover the exposed area of a tooth to offer an extra layer of protection. This may be necessary because natural teeth that have undergone endodontic therapy may be more susceptible to breakage as they can become brittle. When root canal therapy is performed on a tooth such as a molar that takes stronger chewing forces, crowns may be needed to ensure the protection of the natural tooth structure.
AftercarePatients will experience far less pain after their procedure than what they experienced before. However, the tooth may be sore following the procedure for a day or two, and patients can use over-the-counter pain medication to manage this discomfort. Additionally, patients should follow these aftercare instructions:
- Wait for the numbing to wear off before eating to avoid biting the tongue or cheek.
- Avoid eating hard foods or crunchy foods which can affect the seal on the tooth.
- Take great care in brushing and flossing the area if it is sensitive.
- Contact your dentist if you have excessive bleeding that does not subside.
What are the alternatives to root canal therapy?The only other option if patients do not want to move forward with root canal therapy is extraction. Extraction can be expensive due to the replacement options patients need to consider in restoring their smile following the removal of a tooth. Root canal therapy is less expensive and less extensive of a procedure, while also saving the tooth within the smile.
Discuss root canal therapy with our team today!Root canal therapy is just one of many restorative treatments offered at Miami Modern Dental in Miami, Florida with Drs. Marlon Pasquier, Sr. and Marlon Pasquier, Jr. We encourage patients to learn about this and other solutions available in our practice by calling (786) 338-9228 and visiting the office at 7155 West Flagler Street.