At Greenleaf Family Dentistry, we strive to help all of our patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles while keeping treatment as convenient and comfortable as possible. Dr. Flora and our highly trained team of dental specialists have years of experience helping patients in the Michiana area achieve a beautiful smile, and we take a holistic approach to treatment, designing plans that help patients achieve dental health in the long term. We emphasize preventive care, but sometimes things do get out of hand – and when that happens, root canals can help.
Root canal treatment helps to stop damage caused by tooth decay or an infection, and usually becomes necessary only once the decay has broken through the protective layer of dentin and into the pulp chamber, infecting the sensitive dental pulp (the living tissue inside of a tooth). A root canal procedure can save a tooth that would otherwise die, helping to prevent the need for extraction – which is a costly proposition! Thankfully, root canals are affordable, highly effective, and they usually last a lifetime.
While tooth decay may not always show any symptoms, there are a number of signs that may indicate a root canal is needed, including:
While a root canal can be completed in one appointment, we’ll often spread the treatment across two appointments. We’ll start by numbing the area with a local anesthetic, and then we’ll place a dental dam around the tooth to keep it dry and protect adjacent teeth from decayed material. We’ll then use a series of specialized tools to drill through the tooth and into the pulp chamber, removing the dead and decaying pulp, nerve tissue, tooth decay, and bacteria, finishing by disinfecting the tooth and root canals with an antiseptic rinse. Once we’ve thoroughly cleaned the tooth, we’ll either fill it with a permanent filling and seal it or use a temporary filling.
If we decide to have two appointments, we’ll use the next appointment – usually a week later – to permanently fill the roots and cavity of the tooth with a strong, biocompatible material, then seal it off with a filling or crown. These steps will reinforce the structure of the tooth, prevent it from subsequent infection, and restore the appearance of the tooth – so you can have a complete, healthy smile again!
After your treatment, you may notice some sensitivity around the tooth, but this isn’t anything to worry about – it’s simply caused by inflammation and should subside once everything has healed. We’ll give you detailed care instructions after your appointment, but it’s critical that you maintain strong oral hygiene and come in for regular check ups.
Have more questions about our office or the treatments we offer? We’re here to help. Feel free to call us at (574) 262-9619, reach out to us at our contact page, or use the form on the right to schedule an appointment at our Michiana office. We look forward to helping you keep your smile strong, healthy, and beautiful!