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Root canal Therapy

Important information about root canal treatment in Alliston, ON

It is common for endodontic therapy to be the brunt of groans or jokes, yet those comments are uneducated and incorrect. While a person may be in acute pain prior to the procedure, it is actually the infection in the tooth that causes discomfort. Root canal treatment relieves pain and removes the source of the irritation. It is usually the only alternative to extraction. Dr. Oksana Vozna uses this technique to help patients in the Alliston, ON area keep their natural teeth. She offers the following factual information about the procedure.

What’s a root canal?

Each tooth is comprised of a crown, the portion you see beyond the gum line, and roots that extend into bone to stabilize the tooth. The center is hollow in order to house vascular tissue. Channels extend from this pulp chamber to the tips of roots. Nerves reside in these root canals, allowing you to feel bite pressure and sense temperature – natural defense mechanisms that help you avoid damaging a tooth.

Over time, though, human dentition has evolved. If you have other intact natural teeth, you don’t need the nerves in each of them. Thus, root canal therapy (often referred to as “having a root canal”) involves removing the infection from the pulp chamber and the inflamed nerves from canals so that you can keep the tooth.

When root canal therapy is indicated

You could have a mild or moderate toothache that seems to come and go, so you tend to put off visiting the dentist. Maybe you have pain when you bite down on a tooth, or unusual sensitivity to hot beverages or cold – even a sudden breath of cool air. Perhaps you notice that a tooth looks darker than its companions. Or, you may wake one morning with a swollen face and unbearable pain. Those are all indications that you may need to seek endodontic treatment at a dental clinic for root canal pain relief.

Most root canal procedures are needed because harmful oral pathogens have made their way to the pulp chamber. As infection worsens, painful pressure builds within the tooth, irritating nerves.

Here are common reasons why this condition occurs:

  • Hidden decay – Tooth decay may develop in a tight contact between teeth or beneath an existing filling, inlay, onlay, crown, or other dental restoration. Concealed caries can be virtually impossible to see with visual examination, and difficult to detect even with digital x-rays and other imaging techniques. Yet they allow bacteria to eventually reach the center of the tooth.
  • Untreated caries – Tooth decay that is not halted with proper treatment and a filling or other restoration will soon compromise the core of the tooth.
  • Trauma – A sizeable chip, fracture, or piece broken off a tooth leaves a clear path for bacteria to reach pulp.
  • Latent trauma – You might have gotten into a scuffle years ago, had a slip and fall, or took an elbow or hockey puck to the face. Though at the time, the tooth didn’t appear to have suffered damage, the nerve could have been injured.
  • Cracked tooth syndrome – “Greenstick” fractures are fine cracks, not complete enough to cause a piece of tooth to break off. They commonly occur in molars from extreme bite pressure, in people who clench and grind during sleep, or from expansion of large amalgam fillings.
  • Repeated drilling – The nerve may become chronically irritated in a tooth that has had multiple dental procedures involving drilling.

Root canal treatment steps

The initial objective of root canal treatment is getting you out of discomfort. Dr. Vozna sees you promptly, and makes an efficient diagnosis. Depending on the circumstance, she may prescribe a course of antibiotics and pain medication prior to treatment, or proceed immediately.

  • The tooth is thoroughly numbed, which brings quick relief
  • Areas of damage or decay are removed, and the pulp chamber is opened to alleviate pressure
  • Blood vessels and nerves are removed, using instruments designed specifically for that purpose
  • The pulp chamber and canals are sanitized to eliminate remaining bacterial infection, and the tooth is sealed
  • A temporary restoration made of white composite resin bonding material is placed to protect the tooth
  • Dr. Vozna prefers to wait a few weeks before placing the final porcelain crown, to be sure the underlying problem is resolved

For the patient, the procedure is much like getting a filling, and recovery time is similar. That area of the mouth may be a bit tender for a day or two, but it can generally be managed with over-the-counter analgesics. Otherwise, after numbing wears off, you may return to normal eating. If Dr. Vozna orders antibiotics, please be sure to finish the entire prescription as directed.

Where to have root canal treatment performed in Alliston, ON

A general dentist receives training in root canal therapy and is qualified to provide endodontic treatment. Whether you are concerned about root canal cost or prefer to have the procedure in a familiar setting, Dominion Street Dental is here for you. Dr. Vozna has a great deal of experience in root canal treatment, with an excellent long-term success rate.

Today’s dental patient has several good options for tooth replacement, but wouldn’t you rather keep your own tooth if possible? Call (705) 435-4124 to become a Dominion Street Dental patient.