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Root Canals

What is a root canal? 

A root canal is a dental procedure intended to remove oral discomfort and restore your tooth. If your tooth becomes severely infected from inside, our experienced dentist removes the bacteria and any dying or dead tissue. Doing so lets them get rid of your pain and preserve your tooth. 

Image by Quang Tri NGUYEN

What causes the root of a tooth to become infected? 

From damage to the tooth or from a cavity allowed to go untreated, roots and tissue within your teeth can become infected with bacteria. If you don’t visit the dentist, the infected tissue may spread into the root or pulp of the tooth. Ask about treatment. If you don't, the infection could spread even further and lead to other health complications even a trip to the emergency room! 

What does an infected tooth look and feel like? 

An infected tooth can cause pain very quickly, particularly if you don't address it soon enough. Some typical symptoms of an infected tooth include: 

  • Inflamed gums 

  • Tooth soreness when eating and drinking 

  • Extreme tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures 

  • Bad breath 

  • Pus coming from around the tooth 

  • Painful aching in your mouth or jaw 

  • Tooth darkening in color 

  • A small pimple-like bump on your gum 

Dental x-ray

What is the procedure for a root canal? 

Most often, Dr. Ford completes the treatment in one or two appointments. You may first need X-rays so they can judge the magnitude of damage to the tooth needing a root canal. Some patients will need to take an antibiotic for a couple of days before starting treatment. 

When it's time for the procedure to begin, Dr. Ford will anesthetize the area. After anesthesia is applied, the dentist creates a tiny opening in your tooth to find and treat the area of infection in the root. 

Then, your dentist takes away the damaged and unhealthy pulp using small files to clean out the canals. The canals then get sealed with gutta core. A final x-ray is then taken to ensure that the canals are fully sealed. In some cases, a temporary filling is placed to give the tooth some time to heal. Dr. Ford will decide if the tooth is ready for the buildup & crown prep. If the buildup & crown prep is done on the same day, impressions of the tooth are taken for our trusted lab to customize a permanent crown. A temporary crown is then placed while the permanent crown is being made. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for your new crown to arrive from the lab. One of our friendly staff members here at Legends Family Dental will call you to schedule a crown seat appointment the same day it arrives. 

Book a consultation online or call Legends Family Dental if you show even a minor symptom or sign of tooth infection. It could be more serious than you think. 

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