Root Canal & Extractions
What Can be Done to Treat an Unhealthy Tooth?
There are two modes of treatment for infected or damaged teeth: root canal therapy or tooth extraction.
An infected tooth may be able to be saved as a root canal can be done to remove diseased pulp. Unfortunately, if the tooth is too structurally damaged and is beyond repair the tooth will need to be removed.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with a medicated dental material which restores the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for surrounding teeth.
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
- Pain on chewing
- Spontaneous toothache
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
- Swelling and/or tenderness.
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
What does root canal therapy involve?
- A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments.
- An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
- Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
- At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, most teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
- After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.
- You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance. Although we use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there still sometimes necessary occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted.
A tooth may need to be extracted for the following reasons:
- Severe decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
After careful examination and treatment, we may advise to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the we will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialized oral surgeon.
For a simple extraction, we will first apply a local anaesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps. Once the procedure is complete, the area may be closed with one or two stitches. We will then provide you with care instructions to alleviate discomfort and ensure proper healing.
In most cases, it is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbours for support, if one is missing they begin to “fall” and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen the bite because of the changes in pressure and can eventually may result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.
Family Dental Services in Guelph
We pride ourselves on our high standard of patient care. Being a preventative practice, we are interested in your long term oral health. We offer a wide range of treatment options utilizing the latest technology. When you join the practice you join our family. Your needs are addressed with precision, compassion and understanding.
100 Edinburgh Rd S.
Guelph, ON, N1H 5P4
Phone: (519) 824 – 5678
Monday: 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Tuesday: 8:00AM – 8:00PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Thursday: 8:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 8:00AM – 4:00PM