Dr. S. Zak Hallock
Dr. S. Zak Hallock
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Root Canal Therapy in Kettering

The portion of the tooth in your mouth is made up of three parts. The outer shell is the enamel, the inner shell is dentin, and the pulp (or nerve). Root canal therapy is performed when the pulp tissue has died or is dying. When this occurs, the only option to save the tooth is Root Canal Therapy.

Root canal therapy is very predictable with success rates ranging between 70-85% depending on individual circumstances at the time of treatment. It is also a more cost effective treatment when compared to implants or fixed bridges.

Why would you need a Root Canal and what signs or symptoms should you be aware of?

There are several scenarios that might lead to needing a root canal. The main reasons include:

  • Deep decay close to the nerve of the tooth
  • Bacterial exposure due to decay
  • Fracture
  • Trauma
  • Severe gum(periodontal) infection

Common Signs and Symptoms

  • Long lasting (30+ seconds) sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Severe pain when biting or pushing on the tooth
  • Swelling
  • Abscess (looks like a pimple on the gum)
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Recurring cyclical pain on the same tooth

How is a Root Canal Performed

Root Canal Therapy is completed in several steps

  • Access: All of the decay is removed and a small opening into the tooth is made to allow dental instruments into the pulp chamber and root canals.
  • Cleaning and Shaping: Special files are used to remove the tissue within the center of the root of the tooth.
  • Sterilization: Special chemicals are used to remove any left behind tissue or infection and leave the canal bacteria free and conditioned for the filling material
  • Filling (Obturation): Special material (gutta percha and sealer) is used to fill and seal the canal.
  • Build Up: A hard filling material is placed in the access hole
  • Crown: All teeth in the back of the mouth should have a crown made to increase strength of the tooth and prevent re-infection.

Many times this is completed in one visit, but in instances with active infection it might take several doses of medication within the tooth to clear up the infection. It is important to complete all the steps of the Therapy in order to have a successful outcome and enjoy the longevity Root Canal Therapy can provide.

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