Restore the Health of Your Tooth
If you’re suffering from an oral infection, we understand how severe the pain can become. At our Jupiter dental practice, Dr. 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.
As an endodontist, Dr. Villalobos specializes in treating these cases and saving as much of your natural tooth as possible. With over 30 years of experience in the field of dentistry, you’ll know you’re in good hands with Dr. Villalobos.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a restorative treatment used when a cavity goes untreated and causes an oral infection to develop. This infection spreads to the center of the tooth, which is home to sensitive nerve endings and blood vessels. When an infection reaches this far, it can quickly put the entire tooth at risk.
By performing root canal therapy, Dr. Villalobos can remove the infected tissue of the tooth and save it from 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 allows our Jupiter dental team to remove the infection and salvage your natural tooth. When 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
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 get rid of your discomfort and 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:
- Prior to 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.
- The infected tissue is removed and the canal will be cleaned.
- The open space is filled with a sealant called gutta-percha.
- A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth.
- Your permanent restoration will be placed and your oral health 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 5 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 some cases, root canals are unusually narrowed or blocked. If so, Dr. Villalobos may recommend an apicoectomy as an alternative to root canal therapy or a last line of defense after retreatment. An apicoectomy will rid your tooth of its infection and replace the nerve tip with a filling.
The surgery takes place in a very small area, and only a few millimeters are removed from the root. To assist with this procedure, Dr. Villalobos uses an operating microscope and small precision instruments, leaving less room for error.
Before the apicoectomy begins, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb the area along with sedation to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. Dr. Villalobos will start by making an incision in your gums to expose the root of your tooth.
Any inflamed tissue, bone, and nerves will be removed. After the infected area is removed, we’ll place a filling at the tip of the root and suture your gums. Once the area has healed, we’ll place a crown to complete 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. Dr. Villalobos will numb the surgical area so you won’t feel a thing. We’ll also administer dental 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. Dr. Villalobos 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 important to keep up with a proper at-home oral care routine. We recommend brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular visits with Dr. Villalobos to keep your oral health in pristine condition.
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 by calling (561) 744-0677 so we can start you on your road to recovery. You can also get in touch by filling out our convenient online contact form.