When we use the phrase “root canal,” we are often actually referring to endodontic therapy, a dental procedure which removes the pulp, or interior soft tissue, of a tooth. The parts of your teeth dentists call the root canals are actually hollow sections which contain nerve tissue, blood vessels and other soft tissues. It’s a little confusing, but it’s easiest to remember that, if a dentist tells you a root canal is necessary, it generally means he’ll be removing those soft tissues from the inside of your tooth.
It sounds a lot more painful than it is. When you receive endodontic therapy from Dr. Mark Weglos and the staff at Comprehensive Family Dentistry, you’ll be anaesthetized, so you’ll barely feel a thing. There may be some gum soreness for a few days afterward, but that’s it. In most cases – unlike in the past – root canal therapy can be performed during a single office visit.
Your dentist will drill into the top of your tooth and reach into its roots, using special instruments to remove the soft tissues. When all the pulp is removed, your dentist will place a crown on top of the remaining tooth.
In the vast majority of cases, dentists will want to do as much as possible to preserve your natural teeth, and use extraction only as a last resort. Root canals are often performed to salvage much of the remaining tooth – even though it may be “empty” of nerve tissue and pulp, your tooth can still do the job it was meant to do. And if a tooth is extracted, it makes neighboring teeth more vulnerable to decay and cavities.
Your dentist will give the final word on whether endodontic therapy is necessary. But there are noticeable symptoms: Pain when chewing or biting, a dull ache that keeps you awake at night, or lingering sensitivity to hot or cold. Any of these may be a sign you need root canal therapy.
f you think you may be in need of root canal therapy, contact the dental professionals at Comprehensive Family Dentistry. We’ve been providing root canals to patients in Newtown, Langhorne, Yardley, Philadelphia and the greater Bucks County area for years.