Teeth contain a pulp chamber below the dentin, which houses nerves and blood vessels. When teeth get inflicted with decay or damage that makes its way into the pulp chamber, the nerves and tissues become infected and eventually die. If ignored or left untreated, the infection spreads in the entire body and causes severe health problems. A root canal infection is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Presence of chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth which may provide bacteria a pathway into the pulp chamber.
- Persistent pain in the affected tooth and its surrounding area.
- Formation of pus-filled pockets near the tooth roots.
- Swelling in the face, neck, or areas near the head.
- Bone loss around the tip of the root.
- Drainage from the tooth roots into the gums or through the cheek into the skin.
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
- Discoloration of the infected tooth.
- Large decay that extends towards the base of your tooth.
How is root canal treatment performed?
Local anesthesia is administered to numb the infected tooth and its surrounding region. Then, a gingival dam is used to isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth. The treatment is performed in an inert environment to prevent any bacterial contact. Next, an opening is drilled into the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. Then, special files are used to remove the infected pulp and the remaining debris is flushed out from the pulp chamber and root canals using an oral irrigator. The pulp chamber and the root canals are then shaped and prepared to receive a filling. In this case, gutta-percha is the best choice of filling material because it is inert and prevents future infections. Finally, the opening in the tooth is closed with a regular filling and the treated tooth is encased in a custom-made dental crown. The crown provides strength and protection to the treated tooth and also restores its aesthetic appeal.
What is root canal retreatment?
Oftentimes, teeth that have undergone root canal treatments develop an infection again. It happens due to periodontal diseases, impaired healing, and dental trauma. Such teeth require root canal retreatment. You may require a root canal retreatment if you experience:
- Tenderness or swelling near the treated tooth.
- A bump, boil or blister near the treated tooth or the surrounding area.
- Abscess formation in the gums surrounding the treated tooth.
- Pain while chewing or biting with the treated tooth.
- The treated tooth becomes loose.
- Increased sensitivity towards hot and cold foods.
- Discharge from the area around the treated tooth.
- Gum and bone recession.
When the damage is less, a non-surgical procedure is performed for root canal retreatment. It involves repairing, shaping, and disinfecting the root canals. It is similar to root canal treatment and can be completed in two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the infected tooth is anesthetized and the root canal filling is removed and replaced with calcium hydroxide and left in place for a few days. The calcium hydroxide paste is an antimicrobial and helps in healing the infected tooth. During the second visit, the calcium hydroxide paste is removed and the root canals are cleaned thoroughly. Then, an inert root canal filling is again placed in the canals to inhibit bacterial growth. Finally, the tooth is closed with another filling material.
When the treated tooth and the surrounding bone tissues have been destroyed, a surgical procedure is followed for root canal retreatment. During this procedure, the infected tooth and the damaged tissues are removed. The tooth is then replaced with a dental implant and the bone loss is treated with gum grafts.
We at Inspire Smiles Dental employ the most advanced technology to treat dental ailments with great care and precision. Our entire team is immensely dedicated to looking after our patients’ needs with exceptional compassion and caution. Whether you are looking for dental restorations or cosmetic enhancements, Inspire Smiles Dental is a one-stop for all your dental issues and ailments. Book an appointment with us at 925.833.9500 or visit our office in 7739 Amador Valley Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568.