Do you need to see a root canal dentist?
The root canal system usually refers to the space found between the hard layers of every tooth. The root of a tooth helps to hold the tooth firmly onto the jaw. The root canal is made of soft dental pulp, which has blood vessels and nerves that provide nourishment to your tooth as they grow. Some tooth roots may have just one canal while others may have several root canals. For example:
- Molars may have up to four root canals
- Premolars two
- Incisors have one or two
- Canines usually have only one root canal
What Root Canal Dental Treatment Entails
For your dental health and from a medical point of view, dental fillings may not be enough. You may be told you need to see a root canal dentist. Mosst dentists refer to the procedure as endodontic treatment or simply a root canal.
Treatment can be done by any dentist or by our specialized root canal dentist, normally known as an endodontist. If you are in Cambridge Ontario and have been referred to see an endodontist then contact our Cambridge dentists at Country Dental or call 519-620-7474. In Toronto, contact our Toronto dentists at 519-620-7474.
Our endodontists offer a root canal treatment that seeks to save the tooth and avoid tooth extractions. The root canal procedure does this by removing the destroyed or infected pulp, treating it, and then filling the root canal(s).
Reasons That May Prompt A Root Canal Treatment
When you visit our root canal dentist at Country Dental we will first perform a comprehensive dental exam. If you are found to have an infection or have suffered damage to the pulp then a root canal will be recommended. Below are specific reasons as to why you might need a root canal.
Not all pain in the teeth would require an endodontic treatment. Pain that is caused by a damaged pulp is usually very specific. Normally you will feel pain when biting or touching a tooth whose pulp is destroyed. The other pain comes in the form of tooth sensitivity. The tooth becomes sensitive to very hot or cold drink or foods for longer than usual. Usually this pain would be spontaneous in the beginning but get worse as time goes.
An Infection In The Pulp
This is usually caused by a cavity, which was not treated. This makes the decay spread all the way to the pulp. Once the pulp is decayed, bacteria will obviously invade it so you need to see a root canal dentist as soon as possible. The area around the pulp might even swell, which will inhibit adequate blood flow to the pulp area. This infection will create room for an abscess to form. An abscess will form when the decay in the pulp ends up damaging and killing all the nerve cells and tissues around it. It is characterized by formation of pus pockets around the tooth end. These pus cells will invade the area of the dead pulp where the bacteria reside. As it advances, a pus-filled pimple will be formed on the gums.
If a tooth gets hit with a lot of force or pressure, the trauma may damage the nerve cells at the root end. These nerves might eventually die. Such trauma can be experienced during an accident or a serious fight. In addition to trauma, a tooth fracture may also prompt an endodontic root canal treatment if it extends up to the pulp.
Multiple Dental Procedures
Dental procedures such as tooth drilling can also cause an inflammation in the pulp. Our root canal dentist in either Cambridge, Fergus, or Toronto will examine you thoroughly to ascertain the extent of the damage and recommend the right procedure.
Here’s a quick glance at the common signs and symptoms of a damaged pulp (soft tissue forming the root canal). These signs will help you get a glimpse of what type of dental emergency you may be having before you visit one of our Country Dental clinic locations.
- Serious toothache when you eat or apply pressure to a tooth
- Long lasting sensitivity to hot and cold food and liquids
- A discolored or darkened tooth
- Pimple on the gums
Note that, you have to visit a qualified dentist to get a thorough dental examination. This is because sometimes the symptoms mentioned above may not be that evident.
The Root Canal Procedure
Firstly, your Country Dental endodontist will examine the affected area by doing the following simple tests:
- Placing hot or cold substances on the tooth to determine the extent of the sensitivity
- Take an X-ray to ascertain the condition of the ligament
- Use an electric pulp tester to check whether the pulp is alive or dead
Secondly, the root canal dentist will administer a local anesthetic. This is only necessary if the pulp is alive. If the pulp is dead you won’t need any anesthetics, as you will feel nothing.
Later the affected tooth is separated from the rest of the mouth with a dam. A dam is usually a thin piece of rubber. This is done to ensure the infection does not spread further and the root canals are not contaminated any more.
If there are decayed parts of the tooth, they are removed. The root canal dentist will then remove the pulp.
The root canals are extensively cleaned to get rid of any bacteria, dirt, and pus cells. This is done using special dental instruments. The empty hole might need a little expansion to aid in proper filling. The inner parts of the root canal are disinfected and then dried.
Your root canal dentist will then examine the canal to confirm if the infection is cleared or not. If not, your dentist endodontist will fill it temporarily just to seal the tooth. This may last for hours and may be done during the first visit.
During Your Root Canal Follow-up
During the next visit a test will be done again to see if bacteria are still present. If bacteria are seen, the endodontist will repeat the cleaning done earlier and temporarily fill again. However, if bacteria have been completely eliminated, then a permanent filling will be next.
A permanent filling is done using a rubber-like material known as “gutta-percha”. The tooth is then restored and sealed; an artificial biting area is made out of normal filling substances. If your tooth is at risk of getting damaged your root canal dentist may recommend that you have an artificial dental crown fitted on it.
Remember to visit our Country Dental clinic in Toronto, Fergus, or Cambridge as soon as you feel any of the mentioned symptoms. Failing to undergo a root canal treatment when required will surely bring you complications. Such dental complications may include loss of jawbone, tooth loss, and the infection can also spread to unaffected areas.
A root canal treatment is the only way to treat a severely infected pulp. Note that antibiotics might be used, but they will only suppress an abscess and not completely treat it.
In the past, a damaged pulp generally meant an extraction of the entire tooth. As such, we encourage you to embrace modernity and take advantage of the root canal treatment to save your tooth.
Visit this Canadian Dental Association page to learn more about Root Canal Treatment.
To ask our root canal dentist a question or to book an appointment, or to learn more About Country Dental, please visit or call the clinic nearest you:
Toronto – 416-335-7377
Cambridge – 519-620-7474
Fergus – 519-787-7878
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