About Root Canal Therapy
A root canal, also known as endodontic treatment, is a very common, routine dental procedure. Essentially, the dentist will remove and replace infected tissue from the interior of the affected tooth, eliminating pain and potential need for extraction.
When bacteria from an untreated cavity reaches the soft, inner pulp of the tooth, an infection and painful abscess can develop. The infection lies in the inner chamber beneath the enamel and dentin, running from the center of the tooth to the bottom of the root.
If this condition is left untreated, the affected tooth will almost certainly require extraction. It is important to preserve an otherwise healthy tooth, if at all possible. Maintaining your natural teeth contributes to your health and well-being, preventing a host of potential future problems.
The Procedure at The Smile Center
Dr. Scott Parr and Dr. Tara Frey have performed hundreds of successful root canals for our patients in the Virginia Beach and Tidewater regions. The first step is an exam and diagnosis, which may include imaging with our in-office CT scan. The highly-detailed image allows the dentist to detect signs of infection in one or both chambers of the tooth.
Once the relaxation techniques take effect, the procedure will begin. Patients can expect to feel no pain at all during the root canal. The initial process includes cleaning away all diseased tissue, disinfecting, and reshaping the chamber to allow room for bio-safe filling material. As always, our practice is meticulous about safety and sanitation. To avoid any chance of reinfection, we take the extra precaution of using brand new rotary instruments for each patient.
The newly filled tooth is sealed and encased with a protective dental crown. The porcelain crown provides strength and support to the weakened tooth, so biting and chewing functions remain unaffected. Using digital CEREC® technology, we can create your beautiful crown right in our office. The shade matching technology is extremely accurate, creating a prosthetic that will blend with your natural teeth enamel.
Individual cases will vary, but often our root canal procedure is complete in a single office visit. Some patients experience minor tenderness for a few days, but this is easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. For most, the worst of the experience is the period before they came into the office for treatment, and the best news is, this dental work is permanent. With normal dental hygiene, you can expect your treated tooth to last as long as any healthy tooth.