What Is Root Canal Therapy?

During root canal therapy, Dr. Berchelmann will remove an infection deep inside your tooth. Afterwards we’ll apply a dental crown to protect the tooth and prevent future infection. Root canal therapy will save your tooth and make the pain go away

The tooth pulp is the center within the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissue. You have two root canals that travel from the tip of the tooth’s root up to the pulp chamber.

During root canal therapy, we use special tools to remove the infected pulp. Afterward, the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. Finally, the tooth is filled and sealed using a rubbery material called natural polymer. 

If left untreated, an infected root canal may have dire consequences. The infection can spread to other teeth and the surrounding tissue. In some severe cases, an untreated root canal can lead to life-threatening complications.

Myth: Root Canal Therapy is Extremely Painful

One of the biggest myths surrounding root canal therapy is that it’s extremely painful. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with modern treatment. Thanks to local anesthesia and numbing agents, your procedure will be safe and painless.

While you may experience some discomfort during the procedure, there should be no pain. After root canal therapy, many patients describe some discomfort while the tooth heals. This discomfort will subside quickly and is far preferable to the pain, inconvenience, and complicating symptoms that can occur if the tooth is left untreated:

  • Tooth decay
  • Pulp decay
  • Pressure sensitivity
  • Bone loss
  • Discoloration
  • Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums

Receiving root canal therapy, for many, can be life-changing. If the infection has progressed far enough to create extreme discomfort and related health issues, root canal therapy can allow patients to return to a normal, healthy lifestyle.

Myth: Removing the Pulp Is Bad for the Tooth

The pulp plays a vital role in supplying nutrients and blood to the tooth during its development. However, once it becomes infected, it must be removed to avoid further complications. If left untreated, the infection could spread into the jaw or bloodstream. Root canal therapy is used to save your tooth and protect it from damage and reinfection—it won’t be jeopardized by the missing pulp.

Myth: Root Canal Therapy Removes the Tooth

In some severe cases, a dentist may determine that the tooth needs removal. This is fairly uncommon, and Dr. Berchelmann will do everything he can to save your tooth.

If extraction is necessary, we have a number of attractive replacement options including dental implants.

Myth: Root Canal Therapy Is a Lengthy Procedure

Root canal therapy typically only takes 90 minutes. Of course, the length of the procedure will vary from patient to patient based on their individual needs. In some cases, issues such as a cracked tooth may require more care and time during the procedure.

Dr. Berchelmann will sit down and provide you with all the information about the procedure beforehand so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal Therapy

Does root canal therapy hurt?

With numbing agents and localized anesthesia, the process should be relatively painless.

Should my tooth hurt a week after the procedure?

Most of your pain should subside after a few days. If you’re still feeling discomfort a week after the procedure, contact our office right away and we’ll help you with your pain.

What is root canal retreatment?

In some cases, a tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy can become reinfected. Retreatment is when a dentist performs root canal therapy on the same tooth for a second time. 

What is a hot tooth?

A hot tooth is an infected tooth requires root canal therapy that’s very sensitive to the touch, making treatment difficult. In these cases, Dr. Berchelmann will take the necessary precautions to comfortably perform your procedure.

How can you tell if a tooth is dead?

A tooth is dead once it is no longer receiving a fresh supply of blood. Common signs of a dead tooth are pain, discoloration, and bad breath. 

How do I know if the nerves in my teeth are dead?

Pain, bad smell, pus, and discoloration are all signs that the nerves in your tooth have died.

Can root canal therapy cause headaches?

In some cases, root canal therapy may cause discomfort and mild pain that could result in a headache. Contact our office right away if this occurs and we’ll make sure you get the appropriate care.

How long does root canal therapy take?

Root canal therapy takes 90 minutes on average. Of course, this varies from patient to patient, and your procedure could take longer.

Get Your Health and Smile Back With Berchelmann Family Dental

Don’t let your infection go untreated—it won’t get better without professional care. Dr. Berchelmann and his expert staff will answer any questions you have about root canal therapy and walk you through the steps. Give us a call at (210)-336-8478 to learn more.

You can also use the easy contact form on this page, and we’ll get right back to you.