Root Canal Treatment

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Root Canal treatment may have received a poor reputation in the past, but advancements in techniques, tools and materials have made root canal, or endodontic treatment, a modern and common procedure, as well as a much easier experience for patients.

Root canal therapy (endodontic therapy) saves teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. Root canal treatment has become a very common (over 14 million are performed every year) and relatively painless procedure, and an economical way to save a diseased tooth.

The procedure can often be performed by Dr. Visanescu right in our office. In special cases, a referral to an endodontist, or root canal specialist, may be required. After the root canal procedure the patient is fitted with a dental crown to replace the top of the tooth.

What Is A Root Canal?

Root canal therapy typically is a series of treatments for removing the pulp of a tooth to eliminate infection and protect the tooth from future infection.

Root canal treatment is a treatment option available to “save” a tooth that has sustained damage, inflammation, or infection in the pulp, deep inside the tooth. Without treatment, the infection of the dental pulp will spread to the bone around the tooth and beyond.

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. This is also one of the most feared procedures in dentistry. It shouldn’t be. You’re numb, just like a filling. You should have no sensation throughout the treatment.

When Is A Root Canal Necessary?

The inflammation or infection in the pulp of the tooth may be caused by a variety of factors, including deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or cracks or chips in the tooth that have allowed food particles and bacteria to get inside. If left untreated, inflamed or infected pulp can lead to dental emergencies such as pain, abscess, or even loss of the tooth. Some people may not see or feel any symptoms. Others may notice pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, swelling, tooth discoloration, or even tenderness in the lymph nodes or the tissue surrounding the tooth.

Pain, swelling, tenderness in the lymph nodes or fever may be a sign of a true dental emergency or other serious condition and should never be ignored. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend you see Dr. Visanescu or visit an urgent care center right away.

If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr. Visanescu will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

The Root Canal Procedure

Treatment begins with the initial removal of the tooth crown, or top, to allow access to the pulpal tissue. Once the affected pulpal tissue is exposed, the affected area is removed. The area surrounding and containing the pulpal tissue is carefully cleaned, enlarged, and shaped to provide a clean, bondable surface for filling with a permanent filler to prohibit any further infection and discomfort. The procedure is relatively painless when properly done.

Root canal procedures are often completed in two steps. First, Dr. Visanescu will numb the area to be treated, and will remove the inflamed or infected pulp. She will then clean and shape the inside of the tooth, and fill the space and seal the tooth. Dr. Visanescu may prescribe antibiotics to help heal the infection, and will often create a temporary crown or cap for the tooth. She will provide you with post procedure instructions, which include avoiding very hot or cold food or beverages, as well as chewy or hard foods or snacks for a period of time.

Second, after the infection has cleared and the area is healing, Dr. Visanescu will clean and seal the tooth again and place a permanent crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage and decay. Once the healing is complete, you should be able to return to normal use of your teeth. However, it is important to remember that dental restorations need to be cared for and maintained regularly to make sure they are strong and intact.

Dr. Visanescu will help you decide on the most appropriate treatment for your comfort and crown replacement options (e.g., all-ceramic crown, porcelain fused to gold, all gold crown) to achieve the most natural-looking or most durable restoration for your smile.

Root canal treatment, as well as the permanent crown, can last for a long time with proper care and maintenance. That’s why it is very important to follow a great at home oral hygiene routine that includes brushing and flossing, and getting regular professional checkups and cleanings every 6 months.

Many times patients will feel a great amount of relief from swelling or pain following the first part of the root canal treatment has been completed. However, it is very important for patients to complete the entire root canal process including the placement of the permanent crown. Temporary crowns are not a permanent solution, and are designed to protect the tooth only until the permanent crown is completed by the dental laboratory.

The second step of the root canal is important to allow Dr. Visanescu to make sure the infection has cleared, to ensure the tooth is clean and sealed to prevent any openings which may allow food particles, debris or bacteria to enter the tooth and cause further damage. The placement and cementing of the permanent crown is the final step to help protect the tooth and prevent future damage or even tooth loss. Completing the root canal process fully is the best way to prevent future, more costly dental emergencies and keep your smile as healthy and strong as possible.


Dr. Janet Visanescu, DMD
Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
120 E Adams St Ste 1
La Grange, KY 40031
(502) 222-7874
Patient Rating: 4.9/5
based on 57 reviews

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