The last line of defense: save a badly damaged natural tooth with root canal therapy in Thibodaux
You’ve probably heard someone exclaim, “I’d rather have a root canal!” Of course, no one literally means what they say. Root canal treatment is often, undeservedly, compared to the world’s most undesirable tasks and situations. Truthfully, treatment is no more extensive than a common or “simple” filling. Yet, we don’t hear fillings compared to dreaded circumstances such as living with a mother-in-law or having to fly during a storm. Moreover, the only way we at Acadia Family Dentistry in Thibodaux may save a natural tooth is with root canal therapy. Since knowledge is power, Dr. Nhu Le is happy to provide a few basics about just how straightforward root canal treatment really is, and, along the way, we’ve cleared up a few misconceptions.
Root canal therapy is a type of “endodontic” treatment. “Endo” is Greek for “inside,” and “odont” refers to “tooth.” So, root canal therapy quite literally means treating the inside of a tooth.
Root canal treatment is also the most conservative type of endodontic therapy. It non-surgically resolves disease or injury to the dental pulp, the innermost part of the tooth. During the development of the tooth, the pulp is vital. It contains blood vessels and nerves that nourish the tooth during critical phases of growth. After the tooth is mature, however, the pulp is no longer necessary for oral health and structural integrity.
Unfortunately, even after it has outlived its useful purpose, the pulp tissue can present all sorts of problems. The effects of conditions such as decay, periodontal disease, fractures, and worn or faulty restorations, can allow harmful bacteria to enter this part of the tooth. The bacteria infect and inflame pulp tissue. Patients who require treatment with root canal therapy may experience persistent pain, swelling, and other symptoms that interfere with their day-to-day lives.
Root canal treatment provides immediate pain relief and lifts the pressure placed on the nervy, delicate innermost tooth structure. Therapy does so by:
- Precisely accessing the interior of the tooth
- Removing affected nerve tissue, bacteria, toxins, and other destructive debris
- Cleaning and sterilizing the inside of the tooth
- Contouring the root canals
- Filling and sealing treated canals to prevent reinfection
And that’s it! We encourage patients to think of root canal treatment as a “deep clean” for their tooth. Additionally, your comfort is supported throughout with the administration of a precise, localized anesthetic to the treatment site. We can also discuss sedative options to assure your utmost comfort and a stress-free experience during treatment. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to clear active infections. After the root canal therapy is complete and the site is healed, we’ll restore the tooth with a lovely, lifelike dental crown. You preserve the natural tooth—no extraction required!
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