San Antonio Veneers and Implants

Root Canal Therapy

A treatment called root canal therapy, or “endodontic therapy,” is often performed as a means of repairing a natural tooth after an infection caused by a crack or deep cavity. Root canal therapy involves the removal of the dental pulp which also removes the nerves of the tooth—eliminating the pain that is often involved with the infection. The dentist cleans the infected area. It is important for patients to understand that the nerves and dental pulp are not required for the health and function of the natural tooth after it has emerged from the gum line. By removing them, the tooth’s structure can be maintained. Without root canal therapy, bacteria can build up at the tip of the root and the infection can spread to surrounding bone. The result? Pain and swelling that may require the tooth to be extracted permanently.
What are signs that root canal therapy may be required?
Patients who need root canal therapy may experience the following:
  • Toothaches that greatly affect daily living (chewing, keeping patients up at night)
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Lingering sensitivity
  • Darkening and discoloration of a single tooth
  • Gums swelling around the tooth that is infected
What to expect during root canal therapy
The first step in root canal therapy is the access to the pulp chambers. This is done through a tiny opening in the tooth. The pulp is removed and the canals are thoroughly cleaned. In some situations, Dr. Knight may perform the treatment in multiple visits, during which he would place a temporary filling within the tooth. Upon return, he removes the temporary filling and cleans the canals and pulp chamber. A permanent filling, and sometimes a crown, are placed over the tooth.
The benefit of having root canal therapy performed is that it has an extremely high success rate. It saves a tooth structure, which can last a lifetime, versus the alternative of permanently extracting the tooth from the smile. Once the filling and crown are placed upon the completion of the procedure, it is difficult for others to notice the procedure was ever performed!

Dr. Knight has encountered teeth that need root canal treatment that have no symptoms at all! This is usually detected during routine exams. Signs can be a non-painful discolored tooth...(usually a front tooth with a history of trauma), and/or a visible abscess, detected during x-ray review. THE IMPORTANCE of ROUTINE EXAMS can not be overstated!!!