Sometimes, infection reaches the pulp of the tooth, due to deep decay, a fracture, or other dental problems. In order to save the tooth from an extraction, root canal therapy can sometimes be performed. During this procedure, the tissues inside the tooth are removed, and are replaced with high-quality dental materials. This process eliminates the source of infection and preserves normal function. Fortunately, Dr. Luminita Markham is an experienced general dentist who can perform this treatment for her patients at Maidu Dental. With nearly 20 years of experience, she possesses the knowledge and skill necessary to restore and maintain your oral health for years to come.
When is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?
Many times, a tooth infection will be obvious. For example, some people wake up with extreme facial swelling and pain. Sometimes, however, the symptoms are not as noticeable, and may not be present at all. You may need root canal therapy if you experience:
- Extreme or prolonged temperature sensitivity
- Pain when chewing
- Tenderness or swelling of the gums
- A fistula – or pimple – on the gums
- Tooth discoloration or darkening
Root Canal Treatment Process
To determine whether root canal treatment is indicated, Dr. Markham will take digital x-rays of the problematic tooth. This will help her evaluate the extent of damage. If treatment is recommended, she will then administer local anesthesia with our Comfort Control™ Syringe. This advanced technology delivers the numbing medications at an extremely slow rate to make your experience more stress-free and comfortable. Next, Dr. Markham will access the internal structure of the tooth, and remove the infected pulp, vessels, and tissues. Once this is complete, she will thoroughly disinfect the surfaces to eliminate bacteria. After this step, Dr. Markham may place medication inside the tooth to calm it and allow it to heal. If this is necessary, a temporary filling will be placed, and the rest of the procedure will be performed during a second visit. However, unless the infection is extremely severe, most of our patients are able to receive all of their treatment in a single appointment.
Once the tooth is ready, Dr. Markham will fill the root canals with a flexible, rubbery dental material known as gutta percha. She will then seal the tooth with a filling. In many cases, a dental crown is also necessary to restore full strength and function to the tooth. If a crown is required, qualifying patients can receive same-day crowns with our CAD/CAM technology.
Healing and Recovery
Some patients fear that root canal therapy is painful. On the contrary, the procedure is designed to eliminate the source of discomfort. Therefore, while individuals may experience slight sensitivity, most people experience little to no pain. Any tenderness can be addressed with over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
It is important to resume normal brushing and flossing as soon as possible. At-home care combined with routine dental visits will help you enjoy a successful outcome. Saving natural teeth is always our preference when it is feasible, and this procedure makes it a healthy, viable option. Root canal treatment has been performed successfully for decades, and boasts a high success rate – approximately 95 percent. Many teeth repaired with this procedure last a lifetime.
Schedule a Consultation with Us Today
If you are experiencing severe pain or other signs of a dental infection, root canal therapy may be necessary to alleviate your discomfort and prevent more invasive procedures, such as extractions. To schedule an appointment at our Auburn, CA practice, call our office at (530) 823-8771 or contact us online.