Root canal therapy has an erroneous reputation as one of the most dreaded procedures in dentistry. In truth, root canal treatment relieves the pain caused by pressure, inflammation, and infection inside the tooth. Once the discomfort is under control with antibiotics and pain medication (if necessary), the process feels about like getting a filling from the patient’s perspective. The appointment just takes a little longer.
Root Canal Therapy and why you need an experienced dentist
As with any other medical procedure, there is some risk of complications. I have a very good record with root canal therapy, because of extensive experience in this area. Here are some of the things that can go wrong, and extra steps I take to ensure successful root canal outcomes.
- Tiny, delicate instruments are used to clean out the diseased root canal. A file can break off inside a tooth that has a very curved root. I take thorough up front diagnostics including low radiation digital x-rays. And I am very aware of the situation before I start a procedure, so there is little risk of a surprise. I also use unsurpassed sanitization techniques for the chamber. Even in the rare event of a bit of a file that cannot be retrieved, it is not likely to cause a future problem.
- Because the center of the tooth is hollowed out and it no longer has blood flow, the structure is a bit more fragile than a living tooth. Instead of applying a filling to restore it, I protect it with a porcelain crown that looks natural and is strong enough even for the bite force on back teeth.
- If the pulp chamber is not sterilized properly, the sealing material breaks down over time allowing the restoration to leak, or the tooth has an unexpected number of canals and one is missed, bacteria may infiltrate again, causing further infection.
As I mentioned, I take extra preliminary steps to avoid surprises, and use excellent sterilization techniques. And high quality sealing materials for root canals that are not likely to fail.
I also work hard to encourage patients to maintain good home oral hygiene habits and regular check-ups. This helps to minimize future problems with root canaled teeth and preserve the whole smile.
Root canal therapy isn’t painful. It isn’t scary. And in qualified, experienced hands it isn’t risky. Give me a call at 602-714-2223 if you have additional questions about root canal treatment. I’m the dentist patients throughout the Phoenix area trust for quality dental care.