Do you have or suspect you have an infected tooth? A root canal treatment can not only eliminate the infection, but it can restore your tooth to full function and make it beautiful again. Many people fear root canal therapy because they think it will hurt. The truth is that the therapy actually relieves pain because most people with infected teeth are experiencing significant pain. Sedation dentistry can help people with anxiety to get the treatment they need. And once the root canal is complete, your infected tooth can be beautiful and functional for decades.
What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canals are small passages that branch from beneath the top of the tooth downward until they reach the tip of the root deep in the bone. Many tooth problems involve infections that have spread from the inner part, or pulp, of the tooth. As infections worsen, it can begin affecting the roots of the tooth. As the infection affects the living pulp in the tooth, it begins to swell, and in the confined area of the tooth, this causes pressure and pain. This spreading of infection can cause small pockets of pus to form, what we describe as an abscessed tooth. You might see these abscesses on your gums. Or they may be inside your mouth. The pus may leak out of the tooth into your mouth, causing a foul taste or odor.
We can save these teeth with the advent of “root canal treatment”. Root canal therapy involves treatment of the canals using a special cleaning process to remove the damaged tissue. Once the damaged tissue is removed, the tooth is filled with supportive material, then topped with a dental crown to protect it.
Studies show that root canal therapy has a success rate over 95%. Teeth treated with a root canal look and function like natural teeth. They will not get infected again, and they can remain healthy and functional for decades.
Gentler Root Canal Treatment
Both Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kendall have been specially trained to provide the highest level of care in root canal treatments. Now, in addition to the finest training, we are proud to announce that we are also using the Lightwalker Erbium Dental Laser during your care to gently and quickly clean and disinfect the treated teeth with the patented PIPS (photon-induced photo-acoustic streaming) technology. This additional level of care is a superior way to clean and treat these teeth while providing a more comfortable and gentler solution than traditional means. We are proud that Excellence In Dentistry is the only practice in Alaska to offer this level of care.
This makes root canal treatment even more gentle, but we have to note that the reputation of root canal treatment as a painful procedure comes from the time before we had reliable dental anesthesia. People have been performing root canal treatments for more than 250 years, but we’ve only had reliable dental anesthesia for a little over a century.
If you’re anxious about discomfort related to a root canal treatment, sedation dentistry can help. Sedation dentistry allows you to be calm and relaxed during your procedure. We offer several levels of sedation, including IV sedation. This allows for heavy sedation that can help people with high anxiety.
Root Canal Alternatives
In general, an infected tooth should be treated. Infection can spread from the tooth, leading to sepsis (blood infection) or brain infection, both of which can be deadly. But the tooth can be extracted instead of treated. Once the tooth is extracted, you can choose whether to replace it with a dental implant, a dental bridge, or a partial denture.