Root canal therapy can save a severely infected or damaged tooth. Instead of removing the tooth, the canal is cleaned and then sealed to prevent reinfection. Modern root canal therapy is a safe and routine procedure that can preserve your tooth and help you avoid the need for more extensive treatment.
At the center of each tooth, behind hard layers of enamel and dentin, is a soft core called the pulp. The pulp extends to the root canal of each tooth and contains the nerve and blood vessels. Pulp shrinks as you age and only serves a function during the formation of a tooth. However, the soft tissue of the pulp is still vulnerable to bacterial infection if your enamel and dentin layers become damaged.
When a tooth is cracked, chipped, or suffers a deep cavity, bacteria can begin to form inside the pulp area. When this happens, the tooth and bone surrounding the root can become seriously infected or form an abscess. This can lead to a number of problems like bone loss, complete tooth loss, and spreading infection.
To avoid a dental emergency, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as the signs of potential tooth damage or infection appear. Regular checkups with dental professionals are important to help them spot and treat these issues before they can advance.
There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate an infected tooth. Patients commonly experience pain in their affected tooth, as well as sensitivity to contact with hot or cold substances. Swelling around the gums, neck, and face may also occur.
Visual signs of infection can include a darkening color of the tooth, noticeable cavities, and changes in the look of surrounding gums and soft tissue. Finally, a cracked or chipped tooth should always be examined by a dental professional, preferably before an infection can form.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial for your oral health that you come see us at Dow’s Lake Dental in Little Italy. Dentists at our Preston Street location will thoroughly inspect your tooth to detect any potential decay or infection.
If an infection is found, root canal therapy will likely be recommended to remove the diseased pulp. This non-surgical treatment is usually completed in one or two visits depending on the condition of your tooth. Prior to beginning, we’ll be sure to numb the area so you won’t feel a thing throughout the procedure. For additional comfort, we can offer dental sedation if stress or anxiety are a concern.
During the procedure, your dentist will access the pulp chamber of your tooth and remove the diseased pulp. Any infection will be removed and we’ll clean it thoroughly before filling the tooth. Finally, your dentist will seal the opening of the tooth to prevent any future infections from forming.
After the procedure is completed, you’ll be able to drive home and resume your normal activities with a healthy smile courtesy of our dentist. For added convenience, our Downtown Ottawa dentist on Preston Street is located in Little Italy, so you’ll be able to sample some of the local food once the numbness has worn off.
Common Questions About Root Canal Therapy
It’s very important to get treatment as quickly as possible if a root canal has been recommended. Left untreated, the painful symptoms of an infected tooth can worsen and make saving your tooth impossible.
A tooth infection will not heal or go away on its own. The infection can eventually spread to other parts of your body including your jaw, blood, and brain—this can result in dangerous complications that can be difficult and costly to treat.
Root canal therapy typically takes one to two appointments lasting 1-2 hours each. The duration of the treatment time will depend on factors like the amount of infection and decay. For a more accurate timeframe, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. El-Hawary by calling (613) 406-6464.
During the consultation, Dr. El-Hawary will examine your oral health and create a customized treatment plan that includes an accurate schedule of events.
Prior to root canal therapy, Dr. El-Hawary will numb your tooth and gums thoroughly to ensure that you don’t feel a thing throughout the procedure. We can also provide dental sedation to make your appointment comfortable and worry-free.
After the treatment, you can expect to feel some sensitivity. Any discomfort should be manageable with over-the-counter pain medications like Ibuprofen. If your pain persists longer than a week, contact our Ottawa office so we can investigate your pain and ensure the infection didn’t come back.
Following root canal therapy,you can eat right away but must be careful not to bite/burn your lip or tongue until the numbing completely wears off. Stick to soft foods and avoid chewing near the site of your procedure.
Recommended food choices include: