Saving a sick tooth is better than extraction, but many people choose extraction rather than Virginia Beach root canal therapy. Learn how Dr. Stephanie Santos and Dr. Venita John Falck perform this straightforward and long-standing restorative treatment comfortably in just 2 dental visits.
What is root canal therapy in Virginia Beach?
Root canal, or endodontic, therapy is a special tooth-sparing procedure. It removes dead and diseased pulp from the interior chambers of teeth compromised by extensive decay, gum disease and oral injury. Fortunately, an otherwise healthy adult tooth functions well without the blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves in its roots.
Dr. Santos or Dr. Falck confirms the need for root canal therapy by visual inspection and digital x-rays. Typically, a tooth needing a Virginia Beach root canal shows these signs and symptoms:
- Reddened, sore, swollen gums around the affected tooth
- Painful jaw
- Drainage and bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Throbbing toothache
The dentist takes oral impressions and sends with her treatment instructions, to an outside dental lab. A ceramist custom-makes a life-like porcelain crown to cover and protect the tooth.
The root canal procedure
The dentist at Smile by Design begins the procedure by numbing the area with local anesthetic. She places a protective dam around the tooth to spare surrounding tissues any debris and infected material.
The dentist drills a small access hole into the first root canal. Through the hole, she inserts several small files, each increasing in size. The files debride and smooth the canal walls. She instills antimicrobial medication to cure infection and seals the chamber with elastic gutta percha to support it. She places a temporary filling or crown to protect it while it heals.
At home, the patient can take over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen for discomfort. He or she should eat a soft diet for a day or 2. The patient returns to Smile by Design in a week to 10 days.
At the next appointment, the dentist finishes the Virginia Beach root canal. She removes the temporary restoration and places a custom-fabricated porcelain crown, adjusting its fit and bite as necessary.
Life after endodontic therapy
Studies show that 95 percent of root canals in Virginia Beach and across the country succeed, giving teeth renewed life. However, the patient must practice good at-home oral hygiene, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day to remove plaque.
Additionally, whether your tooth has had Virginia Beach root canal therapy or not, be gentle with it. Don’t chew ice or hard foods, such as candy apples. Don’t use your teeth to cut tape or open plastic packaging. As always, wear a mouthguard for sports and to protect against destructive teeth grinding.
Save your tooth
Contact Smile by Design in Virginia Beach immediately if you are experiencing symptoms of an ailing tooth. Dr. Santos and Dr. Falck will help you through your restorative work and celebrate your renewed smile with you.