Root Canal Therapy
The outside of a tooth consists of layers of enamel and dentin, but the inside consists of a soft tissue called pulp. The pulp can get inflamed or infected if it undergoes decay, trauma, cracking, chipping, or multiple dental procedures. Once the pulp is in that condition, you’ll need root canal therapy to save it. If we do nothing, you can expect to experience increased sensitivity to coldness or heat, discoloration of the tooth, inflammation, or pimples on the gums, as well as pain.
How does Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal therapy(also known as an endodontic procedure) usually is done in one or two visits. The first thing we do is an examination, which involves x-rays, to give you a diagnosis and present you with treatment options. If endodontic treatment is the best choice, we will administer a local anesthetic and isolate the tooth with a rubber dam (a thin sheet that will protect it from debris and fluids).
Ahmed Matri, DDS will make a slight opening in the tooth’s chewing surface so he can access the pulp chamber and root canals. Once he knows how long the canals are, he will enlarge them and clean them with special tools and disinfectants.
In this way, Ahmed Matri, DDS will remove the damaged pulp, then clean, shape, and disinfect the tooth. The next step is to fill the tooth with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha to replace the extracted pulp. Then we will seal up the tooth and attach a crown. The crown will have the appearance and function of a regular tooth.
How does an Endodontic Surgery Work?
If a tooth will not respond favorably to a root canal treatment, we may need to use endodontic surgery (known as root end surgery or an apicoectomy) to fix it. After applying local anesthesia, Ahmed Matri, DDS will make a small cut in the gum near your tooth and remove the damaged pulp around the root.
He’ll remove the end of the root and insert a small filling, sealing off the canal. Next, he will suture the gums back into place and use an ice pack to make the swelling go down. By the following day, you should feel well enough to resume all of your daily activities.
Avoid biting or chewing with the tooth in question until we attach the final restoration. Until we place a prosthetic on it, it is vulnerable to cracking. For that reason, we aim to install the final restoration as quickly as possible after the treatment is completed.
Make sure to observe proper dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily and scheduling dental exams and cleanings twice a year. Teeth restored with endodontic procedures usually last as long as natural teeth, provided that you take care of them.
Once you come back into our office, we will recommend a prosthetic such as a crown or filling to restore the tooth. If the tooth has lost a good deal of its structure, we may prescribe a post and core buildup before we place the permanent restoration.
Sometimes pain continues in teeth that have received endodontic treatment. This can occur months or even years after the treatment is completed. If this happens, we’ll need to do another endodontic procedure to save the tooth.
If the tooth suffers fresh injures or decay, the infection can return. Cracked or broken fillings can have the same effect. Sometimes we find very thin canals that we couldn’t treat during the initial treatment.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (703) 272-4389.