A root canal safely and effectively saves a tooth that has a decayed or infected root. Before root canal technology was available, teeth were less likely to be saved, and losing teeth also meant bone loss, difficulty chewing and speaking, and bite problems. Millions of teeth are saved every year with root canals.
If you’ve had any large fillings, those teeth are more apt to break and grow infected, leading to an abscess. Germs are more likely to enter the pulp inside the tooth if there’s a crack in the protective enamel coating. Untreated cavities also allow bacteria to seep into the pulp, infecting it. Saving your tooth with a root canal and crown restoration helps you avoid more serious dental problems.
Years ago, when people lost a tooth, they were left with a hole in their smile, and that wasn’t the only problem. Bone loss always follows the loss of a tooth, and surrounding teeth can shift position, leading to bite misalignment, problems when chewing, and jaw collapse. It’s also important to remove an abscess in your tooth promptly because it could move into your bloodstream and cause illness elsewhere in your body.
Tooth trauma resulting from a sports injury or auto accident can also damage pulp tissue. You need to seek treatment immediately to save the tooth and prevent future problems.
Dr. Rafaat first takes X-rays of the tooth, giving him a road map for the procedure. Then he uses local anesthesia to numb your tooth and the area surrounding it so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. Next, he makes a small opening in the tooth to expose the root canals and uses an instrument to remove dead and dying pulp tissue from all of the canals.
He then cleans and disinfects the tooth and inserts a filling in the empty spaces. Adhesive cement seals the opening to prevent further infection. He may prescribe an antibiotic for you to take for several days to prevent infection.
At a follow-up visit, Dr. Rafaat usually places a crown on the tooth, ensuring it will last for years.