Years ago, when a patient had a tooth that was diseased or severely damaged, it would have to be extracted. Then, expensive restorations would be considered to restore the smile to its original appearance. This is now frequently unnecessary thanks to a treatment called root canal therapy. There are times in which a tooth may need to be saved with a root canal. This can happen when the tooth is severely damaged, diseased, infected, or if an abscess forms. Deep cavities can affect dental pulp in the center of the tooth, which can cause pain and discomfort for a patient. By undergoing a root canal, Dr. Hatcher can remove the dental pulp, stopping the pain, and allow the patient to keep their natural tooth.
Root canal therapy is relatively simple. Dr. Hatcher will make an access point in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber, which contains the nerves, tissues, and blood supply of the tooth. Using small instruments, the dental pulp is taken out of the canals of the tooth. Then, the area is cleaned and disinfected to ensure that there are no bacteria left. Dr. Hatcher will fill the inside of the tooth and seal it, and then may place a dental crown over the top to protect the weakened tooth. The dental crown is made with the in-house CEREC machine and can be placed the same day as the root canal therapy itself.
This treatment will allow a patient to maintain their smile and keep their natural tooth without the time and expense of restorative treatments and procedures. This is a much more beneficial way of treating a diseased tooth while helping the patient keep his or her beautiful smile intact.
Although many patients automatically assume that a root canal is painful, it is actually done with little to no discomfort due to local anesthetics and advanced techniques.