Root Canal Therapy

Fear not! Today’s technology makes the root canal process virtually painless. 

The term “root canal” means cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root. Drs. Price and Neff use root canal therapy in Carmel, Indiana (also called endodontics) to repair and save a severely damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it.  

In the past, root canal treatments were often painful. But with advances in dentistry and anesthetics, most people have little or no pain with today’s procedure. 

Why would I need a root canal?

Teeth have a soft core called dental pulp. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp. This can cause serious infection or a tooth abscess, potentially leading to pulp death, bone loss, or loss of the tooth. Without a root canal, the only treatment available to the tooth would be extraction, which we prefer not to do if possible. 

Why is it important to prevent extraction?

When a tooth is extracted and not replaced, the surrounding teeth may shift. This can affect how your teeth occlude or bite together. Missing teeth can also affect the overall health of your jaw. The bone in the area of the missing teeth will eventually start to resorb, changing the strength and shape of your jawbone. Root canal procedures can prevent these problems from occurring by saving your existing teeth.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Make an appointment with Northside Dental if you have swelling around your face and neck, a hole in your tooth, toothache or tooth pain, gum swelling, and temperature sensitivity. We’ll also check for signs at your twice-yearly exam and cleaning appointments. 

How long is the root canal process?

A root canal usually takes one or two visits, sometimes more for difficult teeth. The general procedure involves x-rays, anesthesia, removal of the diseased pulp, flushing, cleaning, and drying. When these steps are complete, the empty pulp chamber and root canals are filled with a rubber compound and sealer. Finally, a dental filling and, in most cases, a dental crown, is placed to protect the tooth and enable normal usage. 

Depending on the tooth that has received a root canal, a full-coverage restoration like a crown may need to be placed. This will preserve the health and strength of the root canal treated tooth. Dental crowns are made from many different materials. We will choose the proper one for you based on where the tooth is located, your preference, and the amount of natural tooth that is left.

What should I expect after a root canal?

After your root canal, your restored tooth with the new crown should work normally and look aesthetically pleasing. Your restored tooth could last a lifetime with proper at-home and in-office care. 

How long do root canals last?

Root canals last for many years and even up to a lifetime. Receiving regular dental exams and practicing good daily oral hygiene will keep your teeth healthy and prevent future decay or gum disease.

Call today to schedule your exam with Dr. Price or Dr. Neff if you think you might need a root canal.