Root Canal Procedure
Eliminate Dental Pain with Root Canal Therapy
If you are plagued by dental pain or sensitivity, have sustained a fracture, or have had repeated procedures on the same tooth, you may require root canal therapy. Dr. Robert Rapisarda offers root canal treatment using advanced laser dentistry at his Barre, MA, and Three Rivers, MA, dental practices. The trusted procedure can repair a damaged tooth, prevent the spread of infection, and eliminate long-term discomfort. In order to make sure that you feel completely comfortable, our team also provides sedation dentistry to ease anxiety during your appointment.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is typically suggested as a solution to severe or long-term dental pain. A “root canal” does not actually refer to the treatment itself, but to the canals located at the center of a tooth. Filled with a soft tissue called pulp, the root canals are protected by several tough layers of enamel and dentin. However, because the pulp contains nerve endings, an infection can cause considerable pain. In order to eliminate this discomfort and prevent the infection from spreading to neighboring teeth, Dr. Rapisarda can perform root canal therapy to remove the pulp from the tooth completely. Despite the procedure’s reputation, a root canal should not involve any discomfort and many patients compare it to receiving a dental filling.
Root canal therapy eradicates infection and protects the tooth with a dental crown.
How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?
While the exact symptoms vary from patient to patient, common signs of a severe tooth infection include:
- Throbbing tooth pain
- Sensitivity to extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
- Pressure sensitivity
However, sometimes there are no outward signs of an infection. Consequently, a lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean you will not need a root canal. While anxiety about the dentist’s office can lead patients to avoid making an appointment, it is important that you seek treatment and attend twice-yearly annual exams so your dentist can screen for signs of infection. Untreated, the condition can lead to an abscessed tooth, loosened teeth, and even bone loss.
What Can I Expect at My Appointment?
During the initial consultation, Dr. Rapisarda typically takes digital x-rays of the dental roots and conducts a pulp vitality test. This test involves placing a stimulus on the tooth and the neighboring teeth to test and compare their responses. If the tooth appears to be infected, the doctor will schedule a second appointment to perform root canal therapy.
During this visit, he will first place a rubber dam over the tooth to keep it dry and free of contaminants during the procedure. Using a highly precise dental laser, Dr. Rapisarda can then create a small hole in the tooth, through which he can remove the infected pulp. Once the inner portion of the tooth is completely emptied and disinfected, he can fill it with a rubber-like, biologically inert substance called gutta percha. A dental filling is typically placed, and the doctor may also place a dental crown over the tooth to protect against re-infection. This last step will be completed during a second appointment.
Protect Your Oral Health
By removing the source of pain, a root canal can help patients eat and speak without fear of discomfort. Contact us online to schedule an appointment. You can also call our Barre office at 978.355.4656 or Three Rivers office at 413.283.6021.