Honolulu, HI Root Canal Therapy
Many people cringe when they hear the term "root canal." However, this tooth-preserving dental service has an undeserved reputation. Modern root canals, more accurately termed root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, are simple, painless and take just two dental appointments with a skilled dentist such as Dr. Dino Dee DDS Inc in Honolulu, HI.
Most importantly, root canal therapy preserves an infected, decaying tooth so it can function normally, providing years of:
- normal speech
- jaw bone density and strength
- gum tissue density and viability
- tooth alignment
The Root Canal Procedure
Dentists perform root canal therapy when a tooth is injured, severely decayed or abscessed. With a dental abscess, the patient often experiences a throbbing toothache with swelling, gum redness and bad breath. This infection occurs when the soft pulp in one or more root canals or inner tooth chambers is invaded by bacteria. Comprised of a blood supply, nerves and connective tissue, the pulp is important during tooth development, but in adulthood serves only to signal pain. As such, a tooth can function well for years without the pulp.
To determine the appropriateness of endodontic therapy, your Honolulu, HI dentist Dr. Dino Dee examines and x-rays the tooth. He then administers a local anesthesia and drills a hole into the tooth chamber. Using a series of small files, he removes the diseased pulp and other debris, applies an antimicrobial medication and seals the chamber. The sealant is a rubbery substance called gutta-percha. Then, Dr. Dee proceeds to the other root canals if necessary and finishes the job with a temporary filling or cap.
The Honoluludentist takes an impression of the refurbished tooth and sends it to a dental lab for fabrication of a dental crown to cover and support the remaining tooth structure. Both the initial root canal appointment and the crowning procedure take about one hour each, dispelling the myth that endodontic therapy involves an extended period of time. Most root canal procedures are successful, and restored teeth last for many years. Endodontic therapy is a great way to retain all the benefits of natural tooth structure.
Post Procedure Care
Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days, but any discomfort can usually be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication or anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. You will be instructed to avoid chewing on that tooth until it receives its permanent filling, which can be placed a few days later. Depending on how damaged the tooth was to begin with, it may need a full-coverage crown. Those options will be discussed with you.
Top 5 Benefits of Root Canals
1. It Will Relieve Your Pain
The most common symptom that may indicate the need for root canal treatment is a toothache. The pain may affect your ability to enjoy a good night's sleep. Root canal treatment will alleviate your tooth pain and improve your well-being. The procedure will also relieve tooth sensitivity caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love again without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard.
2. It Is Virtually Pain-Free
Root canals are nothing to be afraid of. People fear root canal treatments because they assume they are painful. Local anesthesia is very effective in blocking pain during a root canal procedure. Most patients report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a dental filling placed.
3. It Prevents Tooth Loss
In the past, diseased or injured teeth had to be removed. Today, they can usually be saved through root canal treatment. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be extracted. Saving your natural tooth is the best option.
4. It Restores Tooth Function
Because a tooth that needs root canal treatment often is one that has extensive decay, a permanent crown often needs to be placed on the tooth to strengthen it and restore it to full function. A crown can improve your speech and help you chew better.
5. It Has a High Success Rate
Root canal treatment has a success rate of over 90%. And if you take good care of it, your restored tooth could last a lifetime.
Is There An Alternative To Root Canal Therapy?
You could have the whole tooth extracted, but it's always better to try to save it — especially since root canal treatment is routine and has a very high success rate (over 90%). Saving the tooth can prevent other troubles from occurring later on; these could include bite problems from teeth shifting position, difficulty eating, and loss of jawbone volume and density.
How Can I Avoid The Need For A Root Canal In The Future?
Keep your teeth decay-free by brushing and flossing every day. Eat a healthy diet low in sugar and avoid acidic beverages such as soda. Have regular professional cleanings and exams at Dr. Dino Dee DDS in Honolulu, HI. And if you're active in sports, consider ordering a custom-made mouth guard to protect your teeth from injury.