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Root canals are tiny passageways from just beneath the top of the tooth to the tip of the tooth root. All teeth have between one and four root canals.
An infection that spreads from the pulp (the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues) to the root can compromise the pulp. A traumatic injury can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems.
A diseased inner tooth can bring a host of problems: pain and sensitivity, small pockets of pus can develop—leading to an abscess.
Root canal therapy is highly successful. It involves removing the diseased tissue, stopping the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. Root canal therapy is designed to save a problem tooth. This treatment requires one to three visits. Once the tooth chamber is cleansed and disinfected, the canals are filled with an elastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. To permanently seal the root canal, restoration to the tooth (a crown, inlay or onlay) will be needed. There are times when root canal therapy does not work. In this case, a dental implant may be the best alternative.
When restoration procedures; such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may necessary for dental extractions. A patient who has a tooth extraction usually experience little or no discomfort and only minor bleeding.
Smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing and drinking liquids through straws are discouraged during the post-operative period, as this will hinder healing and could cause the wound to reopen. Applying cold compresses to the outside cheek near the extraction can help reduce swelling, promote faster healing and help reduce any discomfort.
Scaling and Root Planing is a procedure used when it is necessary to treat advanced gum disease below the gum line. This procedure removes the build-up of tartar or calculus near the tooth root. This is done to prevent further damage and to restore and stabilize the tooth.
A local anesthetic is administered to the affected are. Than a small scaling instrument and/or ultrasonic cleaning device are used to remove the deposits. After the cleaning, the root may need smoothing (or planing) to restore it to its original shape. Planing also allow your gum tissue to better attach itself and heal properly.
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