A much maligned dental procedure; root canals can actually be your smile’s best friend. Comfortable, safe, and conservative, modern root canal therapy can save an internally damaged tooth from extraction now and save you time, money, and discomfort down the road. Root canal therapy is a procedure where a tooth’s root canals are cleaned out to prevent infection, to save the tooth, and prevent the possibility of an abscess. Dr. Huriega utilizes advanced techniques and modern sedation and anesthesia to make root canal therapy comfortable and successful.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
Root canals are typically performed when the tooth is severely damaged or is suffering from severe infection. In these cases, the tooth is so damaged that it cannot function without the root canal treatment, or the discomfort from the injury or infection has become severe enough that you are unable to use the tooth comfortably. Having a root canal treatment can enable you to keep your tooth, but eliminate the discomfort. A tooth fracture, deep cavity, or other trauma can cause the canals that lead from the tooth pulp to the root to become infected. Left untreated, this infection can result in severe pain and may cause the tooth to die. A root canal cleans out the canals to remove infection and save the tooth. A crown placed atop the tooth provides protection against future damage.
What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?
In a root canal procedure, the interior tissue of the tooth, called the pulp, is removed along with the nerve that serves the tooth. The chamber in which the pulp resides is called the root canal—thus providing the procedure with its common name. Dr. Huriega drills a small hole in the tooth, through which he then inserts tools of various sizes to extract the infected tissue. After the infected or damaged tissue is removed, the interior of the tooth is disinfected and filled with a special, sterile substance. A crown is then placed over the tooth, after which normal function is restored and any discomfort should be gone. With a root canal, a tooth that otherwise might have been lost is preserved. If possible, Dr. Huriega will opt to seal the tooth with a tooth colored filling, also known as composite resin. But many teeth that undergo root canals are molars, and the likely step to seal the tooth is with a dental crown. If a crown is to be placed, we may wish to prepare the tooth while the area is still anesthetized from the root canal procedure. Typically, the only alternative to a root canal is tooth extraction. The final restoration is virtually indistinguishable so you will be saving your tooth, relieving any discomfort, and likely preventing time consuming and costly dental treatment in the future. Call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Huriega at Aesthetic Dental Partners. We provide comprehensive, personalized dental care for residents of San Antonio and surrounding areas.