What is a root canal? Root canal procedure or endodontic therapy is the treatment of a severely infected or decayed tooth. When the nerve or dental pulp in the center of the tooth is dead or diseased, your Monroe, LA dentist will remove it and clean and seal the space. This is done to relieve pain, prevent the spread of infection, and prevent damage to nearby teeth.
Root canals have a fearsome reputation, but actual patients report that the procedure is about as uncomfortable as getting dental fillings. It is performed under local anesthesia, so you feel no pain whatsoever. What is truly painful is the severe toothache caused by the infected pulp and nerve.
Do You Need a Root Canal?
The dental pulp can be damaged by trauma to the face, a deep cavity, tooth fracture, or large dental fillings. When the pulp is damaged, bacteria will multiply and cause infection, swelling, bone damage in the root, and sometimes a pus-filled abscess near the affected area. When the nerve is irritated, you may also experience severe, intermittent pain when you chew or eat.
Other signs that you need root canal therapy:
- Persistent tooth sensitivity
- Chronic bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Swollen gums
Sometimes there are no symptoms, so it’s important to see your dentist in Monroe regularly to check for problems. If X-rays and tests confirm that there is deep infection, Dr. Finley will perform a root canal.
Under local anesthetic (and sedation if needed), Dr. Finley will make a hole in the tooth to remove decay and debris all the way to the tips of the root. This is accomplished using special dental files. After cleaning and sanitizing the space, Dr. Finley will seal it with a rubbery filling material. He will then take tooth impressions to make the crown that will rebuild and protect the tooth.