Dr. Harper, Dr. George and Dr. Baker offer root canal therapy to patients in Guntersville, Albertville, Arab and nearby areas.
Root Canal Therapy is a treatment in which our dentist removes a bacterial infection that has entered your tooth’s pulp or nerve chamber, which results in an irritated and inflamed tooth. There are several reasons you may need root canal therapy, including deep decay, big fillings, trauma to the tooth, a chipped tooth, or even repeated dental work.
If you do have a confirmed infection inside your tooth, there are other options to consider:
You could choose to do nothing. However, if the bacteria is not removed, it will work its way to the tip of the root and eventually into your bone. Once it does, it will cause an abscess and infection which is even more serious. Obviously this course of action, or inaction, is not recommended.
Your second choice is to extract or remove the tooth, but this does have drawbacks. If you simply extract the infected tooth, the space caused by the missing tooth will cause the surrounding teeth to shift into that space. This shift could cause a miss alignment in your mouth that can result in problems with your jaw. In addition, shifted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay or even additional tooth loss. If you do elect to pull the tooth, it is best to replace it with a dental appliance such as an implant or a bridge. In addition to the loss of your tooth, this approach does add more expense to the treatment.
Root Canal Therapy
The third option is root canal therapy, which keeps the tooth intact and will be followed by a crown or similar dental work.
First a local anesthetic is administered to numb the tooth so that the procedure is more comfortable. Next, your dentist places a protective shield or a rubber dam to keep the tooth clean and saliva free. Once numbness sets in, an opening is made through the top part of the tooth. Root canal files are used to clean and shape the inside of the canals and prepare the root canal for a final filling material. During the process a cleansing solution is used to help clean out any remaining bacteria or tooth debris. X-rays may also be taken periodically during the procedure to inform your dentist of the ongoing process. When the root canal filling is performed, it is typically done by placing a rubber-like material with a sealer that fills the entire length of the root canal. A temporary filling is then placed on the tooth. Because this root canal therapy treats the diseased pulp of the tooth, the treatment is not complete until the tooth is restored to a functional stage. A crown or similar type of dental work is necessary to make the tooth functional again.