The term “root canal” refers to the natural cavity located at the center of a tooth. Inside the root canal is soft tissue, or pulp, and the tooth’s nerve. Trauma to the tooth can allow bacteria or debris to enter the root canal and cause an infection. An infected root canal is very painful and often requires a procedure also called a root canal to remove the infected tissue and heal the tooth.
Doctors Maria Burmaster and Valerie Hemphill use root canal therapy as a conservative approach to preserving a patient’s natural tooth. A root canal is a routine procedure that can be completed from the comfort of our Marrero, LA dentist’s office in just one visit.
Many dental patients will require a root canal for one reason or another. Frequently, the term “root canal” brings a sense of fear and anxiety. Due to significant advances in modern dentistry, this is no longer a painful and complex procedure!
Dr. Burmaster and Dr. Hemphill have extensive experience performing root canals in their Marrero dental office. We will often choose this procedure to preserve the natural tooth. Even though today we have many restorative options, including dental implants, it is always best to keep the natural tooth whenever possible. Using a more conservative procedure like the root canal, we can save rather than extract the tooth.
A root canal involves removing the pulp of a tooth that has become infected. This is accomplished by drilling a very small hole on the backside of the tooth where the infected tissue can be drained. The inside of the tooth structure is then thoroughly cleaned and polished before being filled with a biocompatible compound called “gutta-percha”. The tooth is strengthened with a crown or a dental filling to ensure its integrity for years to come!
A root canal is no more uncomfortable than a dental filling procedure. Many patients are in pain due to the infected tooth, and the root canal procedure will bring welcome relief. With a success rate of over 95 %, root canals are an excellent way to restore oral health and retain the natural tooth.
About the Root Canal Procedure
A root canal procedure may require more than one visit. A comprehensive exam and diagnostic x-rays will reveal infection in the tooth and surrounding area. A small access hole is drilled into the tooth, and the diseased or infected tissue is removed. The inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and polished. In some cases, the root canal may temporarily seal the infection to heal completely.
Once the infection is eliminated, the root canal is filled with gutta-percha, a biocompatible rubber compound. A filling or dental crown will cover the tooth to add strength and protection from future damage.
Sometimes, a patient’s tooth is too damaged to rehabilitate with root canal therapy, and a tooth extraction is required. Doctors Burmaster and Hemphill perform tooth extractions and provide services to replace the missing tooth, including dental implants, dental bridges, and partial dentures.
If you are experiencing an extreme toothache, facial swelling, or fever, contact our office immediately for treatment, as you may have an abscessed tooth.
Root Canal FAQs
Is a root canal painful?
Most people associate root canals with extreme pain. The root canal procedure is no more painful than having a dental filling. The pain and discomfort come from the actual infection rather than the procedure. Patients who undergo root canal therapy experience significant relief after their treatment. Root canals have a success rate of 95% and allow people to preserve their natural teeth.
Why is a root canal better than a tooth extraction?
Our Barataria dentists always aim to provide patients with the most conservative treatment option possible with the goal of doing as little damage to the functional aspects of the bite. A root canal is often a preferred treatment in comparison to tooth extraction. A root canal preserves as much of the natural tooth as possible, helping to support long-term stability and health.
How long does root canal treatment last?
Root canals topped with a dental crown can last up to ten years or more. It depends on the severity of the infection in your tooth and how much tooth structure needs to be removed. Ensuring that you properly take care of the restoration means it’ll last longer.
Can I eat after my root canal?
Wait to eat until the numbness from your anesthetic. Eating while your mouth is still numb risks you biting your tongue or cheek and not realizing it. Start with softer foods. Avoid anything hard or sticky immediately, especially if you have a temporary restoration.
Do I need to take time off after a root canal?
Most patients can resume their everyday lives immediately following the root canal procedure. However, we recommend resting the day of the procedure and returning to work the day after the procedure is performed.
Do I need a root canal?
It’s necessary to get a root canal if you have an infection in the pulp of your tooth. You may have an infection if you notice pain, sensitivity, or redness in your gums around a certain tooth. If you have any suspicions that this might be the case, call our office to be seen.