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Our mouth is composed of various parts, such as nerves, blood vessels, teeth, and gums. When they are healthy, the gums don’t bleed, the teeth don’t chip or become loose, while they receive regular supply of vitamins and other nutrients through the blood vessels &nerves, which form part of the pulp.
However, there are times when the pulp, found inside the teeth walls, are damaged, perhaps due to tooth decay, poor hygiene or old age. When this happens, the tooth becomes compromised, and infection can set is. To prevent further complications and affecting the other teeth, the tooth needs to be saved through a root canal therapy, or removed.
What happens then?
The main point of the root canal is to salvage the affected tooth. The specialist is able to do this by working directly into pulp. Through a highly specialized procedure called root canal therapy, the dentist then removes the pulp, cleans out the conduit to make sure there’s no more infection or pus building up, puts in medication to kill the bacteria, fills in the conduits, and seals the tooth to prevent any bacteria from further infection.
As a form of sealing, the dentist will make use of a temporary filling. As soon as you come back for the succeeding treatment, the permanent filling will be used. A post will need to be placed inside the tooth to strengthen it, and usually a porcelain crown will be used to cap over the tooth.
When you undergo a root canal therapy, all of the pulp including the nerves and the blood vessels, has to be removed, so your tooth is basically hollowed out. It’s only when they are taken out that the dentist can then start filling in the root.
How long does it take?
The therapy itself usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half. However, if there is an active infection present, it will have to be cleared up before the root canal can be finished, and the tooth sealed up. With an infected tooth, the root canal will have to be done in two separate visits, with the patient on antibiotics for a week or two between appointments. If the infection is too severe, the dentist may have to start you on antibiotics first, before he even starts. This is because a strong infection counteracts the anesthesia, and the pain can become unbearable for you. What the dentist would do is to prescribe medications, which are normally taken to reduce or eliminate the inflammation. The antibiotic treatment can last for at least a week to 10 days.
Can you forego a crown?
The answer is no. The crown does more than fill in the gap. It is also very important in providing support and protection to the tooth. When you’ve undergone root canal therapy, the tooth may already be somewhat loose, especially when the pulp is removed. It is then susceptible to chipping or breakage. When most of the tooth has already been broken, the dentist may no other choice but to remove the affected tooth entirely.
Is it painful?
The word “pain” is relative: what can be painful for others may not be the same feeling for the other patients. Nevertheless, based on feedback, root canals are generally safe and fine. This means they don’t register a very high level of discomfort and pain. It’s normal to feel something different right after and a few days after the treatment. However, this discomfort normally goes away after a couple of days. A week can already be very long.
Yet we also have cases when the level of pain and discomfort is prolonged. We’re talking about a number of weeks or even a month. We normally advise our clients to take over-the-counter pain relievers as they usually work. If not, the next best option is to see the dentist who can give you medications that will kill the remaining nerve endings. You see, even though the pulps are removed, there are still plenty of nerve endings on the teeth, and they are the ones that send the message of discomfort and pain to the brain. You can leave them alone or get professional help. If the medication still doesn’t work, we may have to remove the crown, apply the medication, and then just rework the crown when the time is right—that is, when there’s no more discomfort or pain.
How much is it worth?
Root canal therapy is one of the most popular services in Sam Dental. One of the main reasons is the cost: ours is way cheaper than that of our U.S. counterparts. Our clients can save as much as 70% with our services. For less than $300, you can already take advantage of the service. Our crowns are not expensive either.
All of our work is guaranteed. If it doesn’t meet your satisfaction or if there are still persisting issues after the treatment, we can continue with the service at no extra cost. A perfect example is when you have to remove the crown to put the right medication on the affected tooth.
When is the best time to get it?
You simply have to check your problems with cavity. Is it coming too close to the pulp chamber? Then you need to do root canal immediately. This is necessary even if you don’t feel any kind of pain or toothache. Don’t make the mistake of others, which is waiting until they can already sense a terrible toothache before they act on the problem. Besides, doing this can help you save money since the dentist doesn’t have to work comprehensively on your issue.
Who performs the treatment?
Sam Dental recommends two doctors for root canal: Dr. Guerrero and Dr. Castro. Dr. Eva Guerrero is a board-certified endodontist with more than 10 years of experience with root canals. Her experience and expertise allow her to perform root canal therapies as pain free as possible.
Dr. Castro is also a certified endodontist. He is has served as the president of Tijuana’s National College of Dental Surgeons.