Philadelphia general dentist Dr. Len Tau explains the truth behind the procedure that intimidates many: root canal therapy. This procedure is very similar to receiving a dental filling and is meant to relieve discomfort. When a sensitive tooth root is exposed to harmful bacteria, it can become infected and lead to severe pain. Once the bacteria have penetrated the tooth roots, it can no longer be repaired with just a dental filling or dental crown. The only way to fix the issue is to seek out root canal therapy from Dr. Tau. During your treatment, he will remove the bacteria and seal the area to prevent future infection from reaching the root.
If you’re interested in learning more about root canal therapy, contact our office today. An experienced staff member will answer any questions you have about the procedure, as well as put your mind at ease about this procedure. Call 215-515-0909 today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Tau.
Before explaining why you need root canal therapy with Philadelphia general dentist Dr. Tau, it’s important to understand the basics of tooth anatomy. Your tooth has multiple layers. The outermost layer is your tooth enamel. The purpose of hard enamel is to protect delicate structures below the surface. Directly below tooth enamel is dentin. This layer is much softer than enamel and protects the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is housed in the core of the tooth, and consists of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
Bacteria from decay or gum disease can break down enamel and dentin, exposing the sensitive pulp. When bacteria infect the pulp, it becomes inflamed. You may experience swelling, sensitivity to temperature, and pain in your tooth and gums. This is when you need root canal therapy with Dr. Tau. Root canal therapy can save a tooth by eliminating the need for a tooth extraction.
Before he begins your procedure, Dr. Tau will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. He can also provide oral sedation to calm your nerves. We have found that this helps patients have a more positive experience. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Tau will carefully make a small opening in the top of the tooth. Through this opening, he will remove the infected pulp from the chamber. Next, he will clean out the inside of the tooth, removing any infection, harmful substances, and tissues. He will use a disinfectant solution to thoroughly clean the inside of the tooth.
When the internal part of the tooth is thoroughly disinfected, Dr. Tau will fill the inside of the tooth with a rubbery material known as gutta-percha. This will help the tooth maintain its natural shape, while also sealing the opening from further bacteria from entering. Dr. Tau he will then place a temporary crown over the newly shaped tooth. At a follow up dental visit, the temporary crown is removed and a permanent one is bonded in its place. A dental crown serves to protect the tooth and restore structure, function, and appearance.
After your root canal therapy, you may want to refrain from applying pressure on the tooth for a few days. However, within the week, your tooth will once again act and feel natural.
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent root canal therapy. Simply brush your teeth thoroughly each morning and night. Although many patients find it tedious, flossing every day is important for maintaining a healthy mouth as it remove bacteria that sticks between teeth. Aside from removing bacteria and promoting oral health, good oral hygiene keeps breath fresh and teeth white. We also recommend attending routine cleanings and examinations biannually where Dr. Tau can detect the earliest signs of tooth decay.