Root Canal Richmond VA
What is a root canal?
Over 14 million root canals are performed every year, thus making the root canal one of the most common dental procedures performed.
At the center of your tooth is the pulp chamber. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves that supply the tooth. Dental trauma, deep decay, or repeated and large restorations (fillings) can cause infection within the pulp chamber. Infection within the pulp usually manifests as sensitivity to temperature or spontaneous and constant toothache. In severe cases where the infection has progressed out of the root end, an abscess with associated gum and/or facial swelling may result. If the tooth is restorable and infection is not severe, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy.
How is a root canal performed?
Root canal therapy involves removal of the infected pulp tissue and sealing of the root canal system. This therapy can be performed under I.V. sedation with local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment that is required. Root canal therapy success rates are usually upwards of 90% assuming normal root morphology. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.
What happens after treatment?
When root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within two to three weeks of completion at our office.
Your restorative dentist will decide what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.
What is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is performed when a previously endodontically treated (root canal) tooth becomes infected. This may result from loss of the seal at the root tip or small canal branches that cannot be sealed by root canal therapy. An apicoectomy is an attempt to salvage a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted. Although an apicoectomy is typically successful, there are cases where the tooth may be too compromised for predictable success. Your surgeon will discuss your case with you on an individual basis and in conjunction with your dentist.
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How is an apicoectomy performed?
The diagram illustrates the procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The diseased tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent re-infection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.