Root Canal Therapy in Scripps Ranch

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what is a root canal?

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A root canal is an endodontic treatment performed on a tooth that has damaged or infected dental pulp as a result of dental trauma or tooth decay. Root canal therapy can save a tooth from extraction and prevent a tooth infection from spreading to other teeth or through the bloodstream. 

The procedure involves a pulpectomy (the removal of the dental pulp), cleaning of all of the tooth’s canals, and filling the tooth. Root canals are highly effective, resulting in a 95% success rate. Before resorting to extraction, we will recommend that you consider a root canal, as this can restore the health of your tooth and prevent the consequences of tooth loss.

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consultation

You will come in for a consultation with Dr. Anthony Hatch or Dr. Shivi Gupta. We will examine your teeth and take x-rays to determine if you have a tooth infection and if your tooth can be salvaged or needs to be extracted.

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pulpectomy

We will first numb your mouth with a local anesthetic and then drill an access hole into the affected tooth to gain access to the dental pulp. All of the infected tissue, including the roots, will be scraped out.

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canal cleaning

It’s then time to clean, disinfect, and reshape all of the tooth’s canals. A tooth can have between 1-4 canals, so this can be a quick or lengthy process. In some teeth, this may require a single appointment while others may require multiple appointments to ensure all of the canals are cleaned. In this case, we will place a temporary filling and complete the cleaning at the next appointment.

filling/restoration

After the canals have been thoroughly cleaned, we will fill the inside of the tooth with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The access hole is sealed with a permanent filling. A dental crown may or may not be recommended.

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types of root canals

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Anterior Teeth - Root canals performed in the anterior (front) teeth are quicker and less complex. This is because these teeth are thinner, resulting in less dental pulp and less pain. The anterior teeth also have fewer canals. 

Some anterior teeth have as little as one canal, resulting in much faster cleaning. These teeth aren’t used for chewing so they may also not require a dental crown for additional protection.

Posterior Teeth - The posterior teeth, such as the rear molars, can contain up to 4 canals, taking much longer to thoroughly clean. It may take multiple appointments to complete the canal cleaning process of the treatment and canals can sometimes be missed as a result of the tooth structure. 

Because these teeth are thicker, they contain more dental pulp, which can cause more pain. Dental crowns are often recommended for the rear molars for additional strength and protection from chewing forces.



are there alternatives to root canals?

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Most often, the only alternative to a root canal is to have the tooth extracted. However, we always try to salvage your tooth before resorting to extraction. 

While extraction is always an option, you should take into consideration that you will need to have the tooth replaced to avoid complications such as bone loss, changes to your face and jaw structure, premature facial sagging, a gap in your smile, as well as causing difficulty chewing and speaking clearly, and putting you at an increased risk of future tooth loss. 

The best replacement option is to get a dental implant. While other tooth restorations accelerate bone loss, implants prevent it. They also securely hold your tooth in place so it doesn’t move. However, you might as well get a root canal to save the tooth in the first place rather than having it removed and replaced. 

Extraction combined with a dental implant will take much longer and cost much more than a root canal treatment. If you need a root canal, contact us at Scripps Rock Dental today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Anthony Hatch or Dr. Shivi Gupta.

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