Root canal treatment is often recommended to help repair and save an infected tooth. But as with many procedures, most don’t know what’s involved or if they are safe.
In our article we’ll cover some of the most commonly asked questions including:
- How long does a root canal take?
Generally, just one appointment!
- Which is safer: a root canal or an extraction?
When done by a skilled professional, BOTH are safe.
- Are root canals dangerous? Root canals done by a skilled dental professional or endodontist are entirely safe.
Treatment and procedures involving the inner tissues, pulp, or nerve of a tooth are commonly referred to as endodontic procedures. The word “endodontic” broken down has the following meaning: “endo,” which means inside, and “odont,” which means tooth. Every dentist, even your dentist in Lincoln, NE, has received training regarding the diagnosis of endodontic procedures. Some teeth, however, are particularly complicated when it comes to diagnosing and treating. At this point, an endodontic specialist might be necessary. Endodontic procedures are typically performed to rid the tooth of infection, ultimately saving it. This article will focus on the most common endodontic procedures and what each process entails.
Endodontic Procedures: The Most Common Type
The most common of all endodontic procedures is a root canal. A root canal is generally done to save a tooth that would otherwise require extraction. When the core layer or canals that hold a tooth’s pulp become infected or inflamed, root canal treatment can be considered necessary. Infection within a tooth can result from fractures, cracks, deep cavities, injuries, or repetitive dental treatment.
If left untreated, infection or inflammation can cause severe discomfort. Worst case scenario is the development of a dental abscess, eventually leading to tooth loss. The symptoms, which generally vary for each individual, can include recurrent throbbing pain, tooth sensitivity, gum tenderness or swelling deep inside the bone, and tooth discoloration. The symptoms may not always be obvious, and an x-ray might be required to aid in the diagnosis. If your Lincoln dentist notices any of the signs, they will likely recommend a root canal procedure to save your tooth, help alleviate pain, and ultimately help clear the infection.
The execution of a root canal treatment is done by extracting the pulp that has been infected, meticulously cleaning the root canals, and then sealing them off. A root canal procedure is performed under anesthesia. Using anesthesia means that you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Your Lincoln dentist will ensure that you are entirely comfortable before initiating any treatment.
How long does a root canal take?
Typically, root canal treatment requires a single dental appointment with your dentist in Lincoln, NE. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that more appointments might be necessary depending on your situation. Upon completion of your root canal, your dentist in Lincoln, NE, will send an impression of your teeth to a Lincoln dental lab. The dental lab will then create a dental crown to help protect your tooth that was recently treated with a root canal.
Which is safer: a root canal or an extraction?
The bottom line is that when done correctly by a skilled dental professional, both options are completely safe. Have trust in your dentist and know that their job is to help guide you in making the best decision. Many factors should be taken into consideration when choosing the method of treatment that will be the safest for you. In some cases, a root canal might be better than extraction and vice versa. Your dentist has knowledge that can help guide you in making the best decision for your oral and overall health and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Are root canals dangerous?
As with any other procedure, when done correctly, root canals can be completely safe. If you prefer to see an endodontist, a root canal specialist, our Lincoln dentist is happy to make recommendations or referrals. Although many family dentists perform gentle root canals in their clinics, some cases are more extensive and require an endodontist. Either way, it is essential to know that root canals are safe. Just be sure that the dental professional you are considering has performed root canals previously and that they are comfortable performing your root canal.
Surgical Endodontics: Apicoectomy
Generally, a root canal is enough to save an infected or inflamed tooth from needing to be removed. Sometimes, however, it may not be sufficient enough to help heal the tooth and surrounding tissues. In this particular case, a surgical procedure known as apicoectomy will be necessary to salvage the tooth.
During this procedure, an oral surgeon specializing in endodontics will make an incision in the gum tissues, which will help reveal the underlying bone. A tiny opening will be made in the bone directly on the tip of the root to help expose the infected area. The infected tissue will be removed, and clean the root tip. Finally, the root will be sealed with a filling. Sutures are used to help hold the gum tissues in the correct position.
Generally, the procedure will be done under local anesthesia to make sure the patient is kept comfortable. A follow-up appointment is necessary to remove existing sutures and ensure that the gums and other tissues heal correctly. Once the bone fully heals, the patients will no longer experience symptoms.
If your root canal or pulp is infected, an endodontic procedure of sorts will likely be the best way to “save” a tooth from needing extraction. Talk to your dentist in Lincoln, NE, about treatment if you start noticing symptoms of infection. As always, early treatment increases the chances of success, not just with endodontics but with any medical procedure. Call your “dentist near me in Lincoln, NE” today. Let us help you feel better!
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