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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

I have known Dr. Robert Java for approximately six years. He is a very professional dentist who really cares about his patients. He has restored my faith in dentistry. I have been to several other dentists in the past that I believe cost me my real teeth. I now have to wear upper and lower dentures. After an examination by Dr. Java, he said there was still suffcient bone structure to go with implants to help secure the lower denutre. It was the best thing I have ever done.

On July 12, 2007, I received implants that attach to the dentures. They didn't hurt at all. The implants made it possible for me to eliminate the need to ever use any denture adhesive again. I was so excited. I have eaten corn on the cob and bitten into apples without any slippage at all, something I haven't been able to do since 1991. I do not even know the implants are there. What a wonderful gift! The implants are also easy to take care of! I thank God for Dr. Java and the new lease on life he has given me.

If I had known of him years ago, I know I would probably still have my real teeth. However, he has made a bad situation so much better. I would recommend Dr. Java for implants and regular dental work. He is a honest, has excellent integrity, and sincerely cares about his patients.

Dr. Java's staff are also excellent and caring. They make you feel like family. They are the best! I believe they would not be there if they were not the best, because Dr. Java demands the best for his patients.

Sincerely, Ms. Grace Jack

I have nothing but good comments about services I receive every six months that I go in for a check-up and cleaning. My dental needs are always taken care of with excellence. Thank you Dr. Java and your team for excellent customer service and outstanding services.

Patricia

I "met" the whole team mainly because I always stop and speak to all of you that I see. Having been a long time patient of the office, going back to Dr. Patch, I have known most of you long enough to see you grow from young adults to mothers. I feel very comfortable when I am in your care --almost as if I am a part of your little "family"--because you are warm, friendly, and laugh at my corny humor. I always speak highly of you all when someone asks me about recommending a Dentist. You are all a great group of professionals.

James

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