Treating Infection of the Root Canal
By J. Brent Gorrell on February 28, 2013
The term “root canal” is one of the most dreaded dental terms. Most people imagine a lengthy, painful dental treatment followed by a painful recovery period. In fact, the reality of root canal therapy is not as scary or complicated as its reputation suggests. Root canal therapy is actually one of the most commonly performed dental procedures, with more than 14 million patients receiving endodontic treatment each year. Mountain View cosmetic dentist J. Brent Gorrell specializes in root canal therapy, the treatment of root canal infections. This is a fairly simple procedure that serves to eliminate pain and discomfort caused by root canal infection.
When Is Root Canal Therapy Needed?
Root canal therapy is required when the inner pulp of the tooth becomes infected. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that connect to the tooth’s root. If infection is present, it will likely cause painful inflammation around the tooth and gums, and heightened sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. The most common causes of root canal infection include:
- Severe tooth decay
- Traumatic injury
- Chipped or fractured tooth
- Exposure to repeated dental procedures
If an infection is left untreated, the nerves of the tooth will eventually die and result in the need for tooth extraction. Root canal therapy allows Dr. Gorrell to treat the infected tooth and prevent the need for tooth replacement treatments such as dental implants.
What’s Involved in Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a process that involves a deep cleaning of the tooth’s center to remove bacteria and infection followed by placing a protective layer over to tooth to keep out bacteria and debris. In order to clean the tooth, Dr. Gorrell will make a small hole in the tooth and remove the infected pulp. Dr. Gorrell will then use dental tools to ensure that the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and all bacteria have been removed. When the cleaning process is complete, the tooth will need to be sealed. For Dr. Gorrell’s patients in Mountain View, dental crowns will be placed to complete the root canal therapy. Dental crowns serve as an extra layer of strength and protection for the treated tooth. This is a vital step in root canal therapy because it offers support to a tooth that has been badly damaged by a root canal infection.
Dr. Gorrell has a very high success rate with root canal therapy. However, on occasion, root canal therapy alone will be unsuccessful in eliminating root canal infection. For these patients, Dr. Gorrell can perform additional endodontic treatment known as an apicoectomy, or a root end extension. During this treatment, Dr. Gorrell removes the root tip along with any surrounding infected tissue and places a root end filling to block out bacteria and prevent re-infection.
Schedule a Consultation
There is no need to fear root canal therapy. Dr. J. Brent Gorrell always makes it his top priority to ensure his patient’s comfort and safety. If you believe you are suffering from root canal infection, schedule a consultation to discuss treatment. Dr. Gorrell can put an end to tooth pain.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.