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Root Canal Therapy

Young woman in white shirt smilingIf you’re suffering from a badly damaged or decayed tooth, root canal therapy in Goode, VA may be the saving grace you need to revitalize the tooth and rescue it from extraction. During this procedure, Dr. Hendricksen carefully accesses the tooth’s inner chamber, removing diseased pulp and replacing it with a safe, biocompatible substance before sealing the area shut. A custom crown replenishes structure lost during treatment. Root canal therapy is a successful restorative service, and many treated teeth go on to last for the rest of a patient’s life.

When Is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?

Root canal therapy is reserved for the most severe cases of decay and damage, and it’s often the last option before extraction of the tooth is necessary. A root canal treatment provides relief from an aching, infected tooth and restores strength from breaks, cracks and other damage.

What Can I Expect From Root Canal Therapy?

While root canal therapy has a reputation of being extremely painful, offerings in modern dentistry help to ensure that you glide through the procedure with little to no discomfort. Patients often report that the treatment is nothing compared to the pain of the original toothache.

So what can you expect during your root canal therapy? After Dr. Hendricksen has examined your affected tooth and put together an effective treatment plan, the procedure will look something like this.

  1. A local anesthetic is applied to ensure you feel nothing at the treatment site.
  2. The inside of the tooth is accessed through a small hole. Front teeth are accessed through the back surface, while molars are accessed through the chewing surface.
  3. The tooth is measured to prepare for the filling.
  4. The inner tooth is cleaned out, completely removing the infected pulp (often called the “nerve”).
  5. Shaping of the inner tooth prepares it to be refilled.
  6. The hollow inside is filled with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber material called “gutta percha.”
  7. A temporary filling is placed.
  8. The placement of your final restoration, usually a crown. This step often takes place during a second visit to the dentist.

Root Canal Aftercare

If your root canal treatment is carried over into two visits, it’s important that you take certain precautions to keep your tooth healthy and whole until you’re able to use it as normal. Breaking a temporary filling will introduce bacteria from the saliva into the tooth and gum tissue. Aside from being painful, breakage also creates a big risk for further infection.

Until you’ve received your permanent crown, avoid chewing on the affected side of your mouth, and don’t eat sticky or crunchy foods at all. Manage discomfort in the tooth by taking pain medication as directed. Swelling can be reduced with the application of a cold compress to the affected cheek in 10-minute intervals.

Have Questions? Get In Touch Today!

Dr. Hendricksen is your dentist in Goode VA performing excellent restorative services, including root canal therapy and more. If you’ve got questions regarding an upcoming root canal treatment, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment for general, restorative or cosmetic care, please contact us today.

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