When a tooth becomes damaged due to a cavity or other injury such as a crack or a chip, bacteria often has an opportunity to enter the pulp, the tissue at the center of the tooth. When this happens, the surrounding area becomes very inflamed and painful. Without further treatment, decay will progress and eventually the tooth will die or fall out.
Every effort is made to save the natural tooth for a number of reasons. If a tooth falls out, bone loss in the jaw occurs faster than if the tooth remained in place. Also, it is a lot less expensive for the patient to retain an original tooth than to have to pay for replacements like bridges, dental implants, or dentures. At our Brookfield practice, a root canal is a very common course of treatment for preserving as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. Contrary to popular belief, the actual root canal process is not much more painful than a cavity filling. Usually, the most intense pain is experienced in the time leading up to the treatment, when inflammation is at its peak.
The root canal procedure may require one or two visits. During the first visit, Dr. Hoffmann will make an access hole in the top of the tooth. He will then clean out the affected tissue and remove the bacteria that are causing the decay and pain. The next step is to seal the tooth; depending on the extent of the decay, Dr. Hoffmann may want to wait a week or so before sealing the tooth. Sealing the tooth will involve both filling the inside of the tooth and covering the hole that was made during treatment.
Once this is complete, any pain you were experiencing will be gone, and you will be able to keep your natural tooth for years to come. If you have a toothache and suspect you may need a root canal treatment, avoid the possible need for dentures or dental implants and contact Milwaukee dentist Edward Hoffmann, DDS, immediately.