Restoring Your Tooth’s Health
Dealing with the agony of oral infection can be an excruciating experience. At our Jupiter dental practice, Dr. Al Villalobos can alleviate your pain and restore your oral health with root canal therapy. With root canal treatment, we’ll work to save your natural tooth and avoid extraction.
Jupiter, FL, endodontist, Dr. Al Villalobos, has years of experience treating these cases and saving as much of your natural tooth as possible. With over 30 years of experience in the dentistry field, you’ll know you’re in good hands with Dr. Villalobos.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, is a restorative procedure used when a cavity is left untreated, leading to an oral infection development. This infection spreads to the innermost part of the tooth, where vital nerve endings and blood vessels reside. Once the infection reaches this critical stage, the entire tooth becomes vulnerable to serious risks.
Through root canal therapy, Dr. Villalobos can skillfully eliminate the infected tissue within the tooth, thus rescuing it from tooth extraction.
Causes of Tooth Infection
A root canal treatment is necessary when bacteria enter the inner chamber of the pulp and cause an infection. There are a variety of reasons that the infection can occur, including:
- Untreated tooth decay
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Crowns that don’t fit properly
- Repeated dental procedures
- An injury to the tooth
Whatever the cause of your tooth infection, immediate treatment is vital. This procedure allows our Jupiter dental team to remove the infection and salvage your natural tooth. When the infection is left untreated for too long, this can lead to tooth loss or other health complications.
Signs of an Infected Root Canal
Many signs indicate an infected root canal. Call our Jupiter office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Tooth pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Swollen or tender gums
- Discoloration or darkening of a tooth
- A visible cavity
Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
While root canals have a bad reputation, they offer numerous benefits for those suffering from oral infection, severe tooth decay, or other dental damage. Some of the benefits of root canal therapy include the following:
- Pain Relief: Root canal therapy effectively eliminates the source of tooth pain by removing the infected pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. This relieves the discomfort and allows you to regain oral comfort.
- Natural Tooth Preservation: The primary goal of root canal therapy is to save your natural tooth. By removing the infected tissue and disinfecting the root canal, the tooth can be restored and maintained in your mouth, avoiding the need for extraction.
- Restored Functionality: After the procedure, your tooth can function normally, allowing you to bite, chew, and speak without any limitations. This helps restore your ability to enjoy various foods and maintain proper oral health.
- Aesthetics: Root canal therapy is often followed by the placement of a dental crown, which protects the treated tooth and enhances its appearance. We’ll match the crown to the color and shape of your natural teeth, ensuring a seamless smile.
- Prevents Further Complications: By addressing the infection and saving the tooth, root canal therapy prevents the spread of bacteria to neighboring teeth, reducing the risk of additional dental problems and preserving overall oral health in the long term.
Root Canal Therapy in Six Steps
You’ll start the root canal therapy process by scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Villalobos. He’ll examine your oral health and take x-rays of your teeth and gums. By doing this, he’ll be able to identify where your pain is originating from and create a customized treatment plan to restore your oral health.
If Dr. Villalobos decides that root canal therapy is in your best interest, you can expect to go through the following six steps at your next appointment:
- Before your procedure, we’ll numb the surgical area to ensure you’re pain-free and comfortable.
- Dr. Villalobos will drill a small hole to create an opening to the root canal.
- He’ll then remove the infected tissue and clean the canal.
- The open space is filled with a sealant called gutta-percha.
- We’ll place a temporary crown to protect the tooth.
- Your permanent restoration will be placed, and your oral health will be restored.
Root canal therapy typically takes one to two appointments, each lasting around 45 minutes. The total time it takes will depend on the extent of your infection and individual needs.
Root Canal Retreatment
While 95 percent of root canal treatments are successful, about five percent fail to heal or become reinfected and require retreatment. This can occur within weeks or years. If you need root canal therapy retreatment, you can expect a similar procedure as your initial treatment.
By brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing, you can help ensure a successful outcome from your initial procedure. Following a regular oral hygiene routine will help free your mouth of bacteria that can reinfect the area.
Apicoectomy — An Alternative to Root Canal Therapy
In certain situations, the narrowness or blockage of root canals may pose challenges. If this occurs, Dr. Villalobos might recommend an apicoectomy as an alternative to root canal therapy or a final option after retreatment. An apicoectomy will eliminate the infection in your tooth and replace the nerve tip with a filling.
The surgery is performed in a small, precise area, where only a few millimeters of the root are removed. To ensure accuracy, Dr. Villalobos employs an operating microscope and specialized instruments, minimizing the margin for error.
Before starting the apicoectomy, you will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area and dental sedation to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. Dr. Villalobos will begin by making an incision in your gums, exposing the root of the tooth.
Any inflamed tissue, bone, and nerves will be carefully removed. Once the infected area is cleared, we’ll place a filling at the root tip and suture your gums. After the area has healed, we’ll place a dental crown to finalize the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
While root canal therapy has a reputation for being a painful procedure, thanks to advancements in dentistry, we can ensure a pain-free root canal treatment. Your dentist will numb the surgical area so you won’t feel a thing. If you opt for dental sedation, your dentist will also administer sedation for your comfort.
It typically takes six months for the bone to start regenerating and the area to heal completely from an apicoectomy. Immediately following the surgery, you can expect to experience some pain and swelling that can be alleviated by using cold compresses and taking over-the-counter pain medications. Your dentist may also prescribe medication or antibiotics to ensure a successful recovery.
A successful root canal treatment will typically last you a lifetime. While root canal reinfection can happen, it’s rare. However, your other teeth can still develop infections, so it’s essential to keep up with a proper at-home oral care routine. We recommend brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular visits with your dentist to keep your oral health in good condition.
Preserving your natural tooth through root canal therapy is usually the preferred option. Extracting a tooth may lead to additional complications, such as shifting neighboring teeth or difficulties with chewing and speaking. Root canal therapy aims to save the tooth and restore its function.
Learn How Dr. Villlalobos Can Alleviate Your Tooth Pain
No matter the cause of your tooth pain, Dr. Villalobos has the knowledge and experience necessary to get to the root of the issue. Contact our Jupiter office at (561) 744-0677 so we can start you on your road to recovery to better oral health.
You can also get in touch by filling out our convenient online contact form. We’re proud to provide implant services to patients in Jupiter and the surrounding areas like Hobe Sound, Limestone Creek, and Tequesta, FL.