Root canal therapy (RCT) is usually the best way to clear infections in a root canal. During the root canal procedure, your dentist or endodontist will clean out the infected root canal and then seal it to prevent future infections.
If left untreated, an infected root canal, and subsequent abscessed tooth, can cause one or more of the following:
- Swelling that could spread to other areas of the face, neck or head
- Bone loss around the tip of the root
- Drainage that can ooze into the gums and even through the cheek into the skin
Depending on how far the infection of your root canal extends, your Dental Associates or endodontist may perform a partial root canal. This procedure, called a pulpectomy, will relieve pain and allow time for antibiotics to reduce the infection. At an initial appointment, your endodontist will administer antibiotics to reduce the infection. At a second appointment, your endodontist will remove the infected pulp, and clean and fill the infected canal.
In certain cases with excessive infection beyond the root tip, your dentist may recommend an apicoectomy in order to save the tooth. Your dentist will remove a portion of the root tip as well as the apical infection. Once your endodontist removes the infected tissue and cleans the entire area, the canal is filled with biocompatible material and Gutta Percha, which is a rubber-like material that seals your tooth from bacteria and reinfection.
Root Canal Recovery
If your dentist recommends a root canal, you needn’t worry about a painful experience or a long recovery time. Having the pain of your infected tooth root alleviated is very worthwhile. Learn about root canal recovery here.
Emergency Root Canal
A root canal typically does not require an emergency procedure. However, if you experience tooth pain that is so severe that it greatly affects your everyday activities, we would be happy to assist you immediately. We offer 24-hour urgent care to active patients of record. If you or your child has a dental emergency during non-business hours, call our office and the urgent care answering service will contact you quickly to our on-call staff. Learn more about Dental Associates’ emergency dental care.
More About Root Canals
If you would like more information about root canal therapy, visit our root canal therapy page.
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