Root Canal Treatment in Philadelphia, PA
What is a Root Canal?
Your teeth contain pulp that consists of soft living tissue, nerves, and blood vessels inside the tooth, surrounded by hard dental tissues called dentin and enamel. You may need root canal treatment in Philadelphia, PA when the tooth’s pulp dies due to infection or internal injury.
Teeth can become infected or injured by tooth decay, cracks, or chips. Infection can result in pain or an abscess that requires draining when a condition occurs. We can save your tooth with a root canal procedure to remove the infected or damaged pulp and tissue inside your tooth’s root.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
Signs you may need root canal treatment in Philadelphia, PA, include:
- Severe tooth pain
- Swelling around your jaw
- Sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet foods
Some patients feel tired throughout their bodies due to nerve damage from dying or dead pulp.
Symptoms of dying or dead pulp may not show for several months after the infection begins. However, if you notice any of these signs, schedule a dental care exam as soon as possible. The longer you wait to get a root canal, the higher your risk of developing an infection.
What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?
We begin the outpatient procedure at the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Excellence by numbing the infected area. This local anesthetic ensures that you are not in pain during the process.
Once this is complete, we drill a small hole into the infected tooth. We then use a root canal instrument called an endodontic file to remove the decay and damaged pulp from your tooth. Next, we clean the entire tooth, even the root canals at the tooth’s base. After removing the infection entirely, we fill the space with a medicated filling called gutta-percha that stabilizes the tooth and prevents new infections from forming.
If there are cracks or other issues in the tooth, Dr. Han repairs them before sealing your tooth with a temporary filling. The temporary filling allows the tooth to heal while protecting it from future decay or damage.
The final step is placing a permanent filling for added strength and preventing another infection from occurring.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Generally, your root canal requires at least two appointments. The initial appointment is for discovery, x-rays, anesthetic requirements, and other pre-procedure tasks. Then, we use this time to answer any questions before working on your teeth.
Root canals typically take one to three hours to perform but can take longer depending on how many teeth need treatment. For example, if you have more than one infected tooth, you might need multiple root canals done in one sitting. In addition, sometimes additional damage or cavities are found, prolonging the appointment time.
What is the Recovery Like After a Root Canal?
After undergoing a root canal, you might experience some mild soreness or swell for a day or so. There is no permanent damage to the tooth or surrounding tissues in most cases. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce discomfort. Dr. Han will provide you with post-treatment instructions to follow regarding care to get your mouth back to normal quickly.
It typically takes a few weeks for teeth to heal after a root canal fully. The recovery process following a root canal depends on what part of the tooth we treat and how severe the infection is. For example, if the condition had progressed and affected the nerve at the base of your tooth, your tooth might take longer to heal.
What Are the Benefits of a Root Canal?
We know root canals sound scary. However, advancements in the dental industry make it a relatively gentle process. Benefits of root canal therapy include:
- Eliminate infection to improve your oral health
- Treat tooth pain and sensitivity
- Preserve your natural teeth, avoiding tooth removal or dental implants
- Prevent severe dental conditions like osteomyelitis and periapical periodontitis
Infection within one tooth can spread into other teeth and tissues in your mouth. Root canals treat the infection at the source to protect your teeth and save money on future, more severe dental conditions.
If you need root canal treatment in Philadelphia, PA, the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Excellence can help. Our staff, led by Dr. Christine Han, DMD, prioritizes your comfort with amenities like free Wi-Fi, warm blankets, and massage chairs.
Book your consultation appointment online or call (215) 969-4400 today.