Getting to the root of your family’s dental issues
At Shortline Dental, performing a root canal on a tooth is our Tulsa, OK dentists’ treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many of our patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution. What they don’t realized is that extracting a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth. We’ve all heard the expression, “I’d rather have a root canal!” when referring to worst-case scenarios, but root canals are, in fact, highly successful and can potentially last a lifetime.
You might need a root canal if…
While there may not always be a clear indication of dental distress, keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness
If you experience any of these symptoms, it may mean that root canal therapy is necessary because:
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
- Infection or an abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- There has been injury or trauma to the tooth
What does root canal therapy involve?
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments with an experienced dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) at one of our Tulsa, OK family dental offices. The process can be broken down into four key steps:
1. While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
2. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
3. At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
4. After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed. You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits to Shortline Dental will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.
Contact us today for better dental health tomorrow
Our dentists and staff at Shortline Dental in Tulsa, OK look forward to serving you and your family. Call one of our three Tulsa offices today to schedule a visit, or make your appointment online. We offer flexible office hours, including some weekend hours, and we even accept walk-ins. Shortline Dental believes that high-quality dental care doesn’t need to come with a high cost, so we also gladly accept Medicaid and SoonerCare.