What is a root canal?
A root canal is a type of oral surgery that removes damaged or infected tooth pulp. Pulp is a soft material found in the center of each tooth. It contains blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissue that help your tooth grow. By removing the pulp, it’s possible to save your permanent tooth and avoid an extraction.
At the practice of Judy Mejido DMD PA, the team provides root canals in-office. There’s an endodontic specialist on-staff who can provide both straightforward and more complex treatments.
What types of problems can root canals treat?
At the practice of Judy Mejdio DMD PA, the team uses root canals to treat damaged or infected tooth pulp. Pulp damage occurs for various reasons, including:
- Deep decay
- Chips, cracks, or fractures
- Trauma, like getting hit in the mouth
- Undergoing several procedures on a single tooth
Early on, damaged or infected tooth pulp doesn’t always trigger obvious symptoms. As the infection progresses, you might experience swelling, increased sensitivity, or a sensation of warmth in your gums.
What do root canals involve?
Traditionally, root canals took at least two appointments. However, the team at the practice of Judy Mejido DMD PA has a CEREC milling machine on-site, allowing patients to complete the entire procedure in a single visit.
Before recommending a root canal, the team reviews your dental records, conducts a thorough oral exam, and asks about your symptoms. Then, they take oral X-rays to assess your affected tooth and the extent of the infection or decay.
After analyzing your tooth, the team administers a local anesthetic. Once the anesthesia sets in, they remove the decaying portion of your tooth and your tooth pulp. The team rinses the center of your tooth with an antiseptic solution and fills it with a rubbery material called gutta-percha.
The team takes impressions of your tooth and uploads them to a computer design program. The program allows them to mold a crown that fits perfectly over your tooth.
After finalizing a design, the team uploads your molds to the CEREC milling machine. The machine creates a custom crown out of porcelain.
About an hour later, the team bonds your crown in place, restoring your tooth to its near-original size, shape, and strength. They then provide you with a list of care instructions and send you home.
What is recovery like after a root canal?
After a root canal, it’s normal to experience some mild discomfort, swelling, and increased sensitivity, especially once the anesthesia wears off.
Take at least a day off of work and avoid chewing or biting down on your treated tooth. To limit pain, take over-the-counter pain medication or apply a bag of ice to your cheek.
To further explore root canals, request a consultation at the practice of Judy Mejido DMD PA. Book an appointment online, or call the office to speak with a member of the staff today.