WHAT IS A ROOT CANAL?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
HOW IS A ROOT CANAL PERFORMED?
If you experience any of these symptoms of infection, Dr. Gaudet will first perform a non-surgical root canal to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for a non-surgical root canal occurs in about 90% of cases. While there are some indicators of whether a tooth will respond to endodontic treatment the human body and in particular our teeth can respond to treatment differently than expected.
Should you continue to experience discomfort, Dr. Gaudet will then perform a surgical root canal or an apicoectomy. This is occasionally needed when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure. In this microsurgical procedure, Dr. Gaudet opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed. Consecutive treatments do weaken tooth integrity and occasionally a tooth will fracture or crack either during or following the procedure. You will be informed if a complication becomes evident during treatment. If the tooth gives you any problems after treatment please do not hesitate to call Dr. Gaudet at 604-538-9283. We have an on call dentist from our office if it is after hours or if during office hours we will schedule you to come into the office at your earliest convenience. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene at home and schedule to visit one of our WAVE hygienists every 3 – 6 months.