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Root Canals

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Root canals (endodontic therapy) are a very common procedure in the dental industry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When the dental pulp of a tooth becomes infected it becomes necessary to remove the infection in order to save the tooth and prevent further problems. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that may include bone and tissue loss.

Root Canals are usually a two step process. The first step is drilling down to the tooth pulp, cleaning the infection and sealing the tooth against further infection.  This step is the actual "root canal". The second step is to cover the tooth and hole with a permanent crown. This step is very common but not always done.  The condition of the root canal tooth will determine if a crown or filling is appropriate.  Dr. Poulson may use a preferred Endodontist for the first step, however, Dr. Poulson will fit you with the proper crown or filling.

The procedure begins when the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic. Dr. Poulson or a preferred endodontist will drill down into the tooth to create an opening into the canal. The infected tissue can be removed and the canal cleaned. After the infection has been removed, the space if filled with a sealant called gutta percha. The last step is to fit the tooth that has had a root canal with a fitted crown, or in a few cases, a filling. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is remains successful.

Root canals are scary

Since the root canal is a common procedure performed in dentistry the term "Root canal" has become a scary term for dental patients to hear. The benefits of modern technology and sedation make the procedure much less intimidating.  If your tooth is hurting and you think you may need a root canal, the sooner you can get your tooth looked at the easier treatment will be and less likely you will have pain.  Don't delay having a hurting tooth looked at by Dr. Poulson and his team.

Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe other medication. Follow the specific instructions your dentist provides for a faster and less painful healing process.

A root canal will relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard. It will also stop other health issues from becoming a bigger problem.

Dr. Poulson will perform root canals on anterior teeth and most premolars.  For more complicated root canals, including molars and teeth with unique anatomy, a referral to a specialist is given.

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