When Is Root Canal Therapy The Right Choice?

Tooth extraction used to be the most common treatment for a decayed tooth. However, advances in dental technology brought about the root canal, which offers a way to save your tooth. Root canals often have a reputation of being very painful, and in the past, that was true. However, with today’s cutting-edge dental techniques, most patients experience very little or no pain when a root canal is performed. Learn more about this dental procedure, when it’s needed and how we can ensure you have a great experience if you require a root canal in Sacramento.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental treatment that helps repair and save a tooth when it has become infected or badly decayed. The tooth has a natural cavity known as a “root canal,” which is where the pulp chamber and nerve of the tooth are located. This procedure involves removing the pulp and nerve from inside the tooth to prevent the tissue around your tooth from becoming infected.

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

Many factors can damage the nerve or pulp of your tooth. In some cases, there’s no warning, but patients often experience pain or other symptoms that may be a sign root canal therapy is needed. One of the most common signs indicating you may require this procedure is a toothache. You may experience sudden pain or you may deal with extreme sensitivity to cold or hot foods and liquids. An abscess around the tooth or a deep cavity in a tooth may also be signs that you need an emergency root canal.

The Root Canal Procedure

The root canal procedure generally takes just one or two visits. X-rays are done to check the damage to the tooth. Next, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to prevent pain. Then, a dental dam will be placed in your mouth to ensure the tooth is kept protected, free from saliva and clean. An opening in the top of the tooth is made and the pulp is removed. Once the pulp has been removed, the root canals and pulp chamber is cleaned, and then the tooth is sealed. To strengthen the tooth’s structure, a crown will be placed on top of the treated tooth.

Root Canal vs. Extraction

Whenever possible, it’s best to save your natural tooth with a root canal instead of choosing extraction. Each case is different, but there are a few cases when your dentist may recommend an extraction instead of root canal therapy, including:

  • Fracture of the tooth root: If the tooth has been fractured down to the root, it may keep hurting or may continue to be infected even after a root canal.
  • Resorption: If resorption has resulted in much of the tooth dissolving, a root canal may not work.
  • Too little tooth structure: If you don’t have enough healthy tooth structure for a crown to be attached, then a root canal probably won’t work.

Natomas Crossing Dental Care: Improving Your Root Canal Experience

Our goal at Natomas Crossing Dental Care is to make sure we save your natural tooth whenever possible. When you choose us for a root canal in Sacramento, our professional staff will work to ensure that you are kept comfortable throughout the procedure. We use state-of-the art dental technology to save your tooth and to make sure your treated tooth lasts for years. If you’re dealing with tooth pain or other symptoms that might indicate you need root canal therapy, contact Natomas Crossing Dental Care today for more information.