Article Submitted by Dr. Sid Solomon DDS
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special medicated dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what they don’t realize is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.
During the root canal procedure, the tooth is first cleaned thoroughly. Once the tooth is cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a
time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In
addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth heals.
Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.
A root canal procedure can be performed by either a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).
Dr. Solomon is certified to treat TMJ issues such as headaches and migraines and jaw problems with therapeutic Botox injections. Botox serves to relax the muscles it is injected into and effectively relieve the pain associated with the area of injection. Dr. Solomon often uses Botox in conjunction with his Neuromuscular treatments of TMJ.