The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends root canal therapy as a great substitute for dental extraction. Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson offer this pain-free restoration right at their family dentistry practice in St. Louis, MO. They also answer the important question: "Do I need a root canal?"
The details on root canal therapy
Root canal therapy is a restorative treatment that dentists in St. Louis and around the world use to bring sick teeth back to full health and function. The procedure removes the inflamed and diseased pulp from deep within a tooth, including the slender chambers inside each tooth root--hence, the term, "root canal therapy." After the dentist thoroughly cleans out and disinfects the tooth, he or she seals it and crowns it, preserving it for years.
Qualifying for root canal therapy
What signs tell your dentist you may need a root canal? They are different for each patient, but typically, Dr. Johnson sees signs of extreme infection, injury, or deterioration, including:
- Pus at the gum line
- Bad breath, or halitosis
- A red pimple on the gums
- Severe toothache pain
- Extreme dental sensitivity to pressure, cold, heat, or sugar
- A crack or substantial loss of enamel
- Lost or deteriorating fillings
- Darkened enamel
An X-ray confirms if the tooth may be saved with a root canal or if extraction is necessary. Fortunately, most root canal procedures succeed, says the American Association of Endodontists. In other words, you can have a complete set of teeth instead of struggling with smile gaps which harm personal appearance, oral function, jaw bone density, and the position and strength of neighboring teeth.
Most root canal patients wish to know if the procedure will hurt and if it will be lengthy. Dr. Johnson wants to assure you that the area around the tooth will be numbed prior to the treatment. The removal of pulp from the canals, sealing them (with biocompatible gutta-percha) and capping the tooth takes two one-hour appointments, separated by a week or so to allow for healing.
After the permanent porcelain crown is placed, you will enjoy a tooth that feels good and looks very natural. Just brush twice a day as you normally would and floss around the tooth to reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar. Of course, see Dr. Johnson twice a year for an examination and professional cleaning.
Find out more
A root canal procedure truly is one of today's most predictable and effective dental procedures. Contact us if you are concerned about a particular tooth, and the office staff will get you into the office for a consultation with Dr. Jeffery Johnson or Dr. Jodi Johnson. Call (314) 427-7400.