Root Canal Therapy in Bonita Springs
Pelican Landing Dental serves the residents Bonita Springs, Estero, and surrounding communities with root canal treatment. The root canal for years has been one of the more misunderstood dental treatments. In the interest of clarification, we hope to answer a few frequently asked questions below about the root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is the removal of pulp from a tooth. The pulp is located at the center of the tooth. Teeth are provided with nerve and blood supply from the body through the very end of the root. These nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth and become part of the pulp. After the infected pulp is removed from the tooth, a special dental material is placed inside the tooth to replace the pulp.
When is a Root Canal Required?
Root canals are indicated for several different reasons. Perhaps the most common reason for root canal treatment is severe decay. Tooth decay often grows to a point where it encroaches on the pulp. While sometimes this is reversible with a simple filling, often it has progressed past the point of repair. Teeth with severe fractures or trauma often require root canals as well. The fracture allows for a path of entry for bacteria into the pulp chamber of a tooth. Once exposed, the damage is irreversible.
What are the Benefits of a Root Canal?
Although recent advances in dentistry allow us to replace teeth with bridges or implants, it is important to note that no replacement will ever be as good as the natural tooth. The root canal can save a tooth from being lost. This helps maintain chewing efficiency, esthetics, and facial form. If a root canal is needed, we encourage this procedure to be completed as soon as possible. After all, our goal is healthy teeth and gums for life!
What are the Dangers of Not Doing a Root Canal?
We very often see teeth requiring a root canal being neglected. There are several dangers to this including but not limited to swellings, infection spreading to the bone, damage to adjacent teeth, severe pain, and loss of teeth. Just like other areas of the body, if an infection is ignored significant damage can be done.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
What do you think of when you hear the words “root canal”? For many people it brings up a sense of fear. It is important to state that the root canal should not be feared. The field of endodontics has evolved significantly over recent decades. With newer technology, better anesthetic procedures and equipment, and an advanced knowledge of this field, the root canal is not a painful procedure. Some patients report slight post-operative discomfort but the appointment itself is not one that is painful.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Root canal therapy typically takes two appointments to complete; one to have the root canal performed and another to have your permanent crown placed. Most root canals are completed in one appointment and only require a second one if retreatment is needed. The appointment is anywhere between 90 minutes and two hours. Keep in mind that since a permanent crown needs to be made, you’ll need to wear a temporary crown until we receive your permanent crown from a trusted dental lab. After fabrication, you’ll come back in about two weeks to have your permanent crown fitted.
The Root Canal Process
After thoroughly examining your tooth, we’ll administer anesthetic to the surrounding gum tissue as well as the tooth itself. This will ensure that your treatment is as comfortable as possible. The dentist will then create a small access hole through the top of the tooth, known as the crown. This allows us to clear away infected pulp and decay from inside the tooth as well as shape the canal itself. After irrigating any leftover infected tissue, we’ll fill the tooth with a rubber-like material known as gutta percha. This is intended to replace the infected tissue previously removed. Once filled, we’ll seal the access hole with a custom-made crown.