A root canal procedure is one of the most common dental procedures performed. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for 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. Some teeth that require root canals exhibit no symptoms at all. In those types of cases the determination that a root canal is needed may result from visually seeing a chronic (quiet) abscess on the x-ray or from special tests used to see if the nerve of the tooth is alive.
If you experience any of these symptoms, Drs. Hanneman or Leeman will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment 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 this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine. Most of our patients experience NO DISCOMFORT during these procedures. In fact, many actually fall asleep during the procedure since there is very little noise or vibrations.