Endodontic treatment or root canal treatment, involves removing the infected and inflamed nerve tissue of the teeth and eliminating bacteria and infection around the root canal in order to save the natural tooth and prevent reinfection. Root canal procedures are a very common treatment and are a proven way to relieve pain and save natural teeth. These procedures can be done to heal a cracked tooth, deep cavity, or issues from previous fillings or dental work.
During the treatment, the patient is given anesthesia, and the endodontic specialist removes the infected pulp, disinfects the inner chamber, and reshapes the tooth’s canals. The canals are then filled with an elastic and medicated material to prevent infection until they’re permanently sealed with a crown.
Cascadia Dental can also perform a root amputation for root removal from a multi-root tooth. The infected root can be removed while preserving the healthy roots around it, therefore saving part of or the whole tooth from having to be extracted. This is usually done before a root canal procedure is needed. This prevents broken or injured teeth from decaying and becoming infected, and from affecting the surrounding healthy teeth.
An apicoectomy procedure, also known as a root-end resection, becomes necessary when the infection or inflammation occurs after a root canal treatment. An anesthetic is applied and the endodontist opens the gum tissue to examine the underlying bone. They then remove any infected tissue and the very end of the root before placing a small filling to seal the root canal and help the tissue heal. The bone will heal around the root.
Although with proper maintenance your root canal treated teeth should last forever, sometimes those teeth heal improperly and need to go through retreatment to be saved. A retreatment procedure is an additional procedure that gives your teeth another chance and will hopefully encourage proper healing. During retreatment, the endodontist removes the previous filling materials in your current root canal and carefully examine and then clean the tooth. After removing any infection, they will reshape the canal and replace with new filling materials before sealing. After healing, a new crown will be placed on the tooth for protection.
Cascadia Dental Specialists is also ready to help with any dental emergencies you might need taken care of, including emergency root canal procedures.
Endodontic surgery is an attempt to retain a permanent tooth. Although this procedure has a high percentage of success, occasionally the tooth may need to be extracted depending to the healing response to surgery. You will be monitored closely to observe your healing events post surgery.
To help ensure the optimal healing response to surgery please follow these instructions:
- Starting the next day you can brush the rest of your teeth staying away from surgical site. Also, a warm salt water rinse of 1tsp salt to 8oz warm water after every meal. When rinsing, nothing too vigorous the first couple days. Keeping the surgical site clean is imperative to the healing process. Continue this until sutures are removed at one week.
- Keep your tongue and fingers away from the surgical site.
- Try not to pull on the cheek or tissue surrounding the surgical site; although tempting, the tissue is regenerating and needs to be left alone for optimal healing.
- Do not eat hot, spicy, acidic foods or drinks for the first couple days.
- Stay away from foods with seeds such as berries, flax, or nuts. These foods get stuck in the sutures and tissue.
- Cooler foods are recommended for the first two days to reduce inflammation and bruising.
- Sometimes bruising or swelling may occur. Peak inflammatory events are 36 hours post surgery. To help with the inflammatory events 600mg of ibuprofen is recommended every 6 hours for the next three days not exceeding 2400mg in a 24 hour period. Most discomfort is caused from the inflammatory events. The better you control the inflammatory events, the more control you will have over your discomfort levels.
- A cold compress for the next 48 hours to the face over the surgical site will also help keep the inflammation to a minimum. The cold compress should be 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
- The next 48 hours (starting day 3) you can use a warm compress to the face over surgical site. This will help the blood to circulate and minimize bruising.
- A dissolvable suture may be placed. If the suture comes out or gets loose do not be alarmed. At your one week post op visit we will look at the healing events and take the remaining sutures out.
- If you are given an antibiotic please start taking it as soon as possible and take it as directed until it is complete. Anytime you take any medications make sure you have food in your stomach, some medications can irritate the stomach.