Root Canal Treatment in Erie, PA

Sleep Dentistry Erie has dentists on staff who have extensive experience in performing root canal procedures. The main purpose of a root canal is to remove infected pulp tissue from the interior of a tooth. The actual root canal procedure involves disinfecting the tooth as well as the removal of all remnants. If enough damage has been done to dental pulp, the tooth will begin to die and root canal treatment is most often required to prevent infection. We also provide safe dental anesthesia for those who have dental phobias

Root Canals - Sleep Dentistry in Erie, PA

Signs You Need a Root Canal

  • Minimal to severe pain
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Swelling and irritation of the surrounding gum tissue
  • Signs of infection visible on a radiograph

Whether you've experienced a severe fracture in the tooth that enters the pulp or your pulp has been exposed to oral bacteria, you can be sure to get the best treatment at Sleep Dentistry in Erie, PA.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When and why are root canals necessary?

A root canal is necessary when the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected. Left untreated, an abscess (pus pocket) can form within the tooth and the infection may potentially spread outward into the head, face, or neck — which can lead to even more serious complications.

Signs of infection may include: 

  1. pain when chewing or biting
  2. chipped or cracked teeth
  3. heat or cold sensitivity
  4. inflamed or discolored gum tissue
  5. or even lesions (such as pimples) on the gums. 

When discomfort and pain emanating from a particular tooth are too much to ignore, chances are you need a root canal. A timely root canal can rescue a tooth and preserve its function.

What happens during a root canal procedure?

During a root canal procedure, the tooth is first numbed and the work zone isolated and screened off with a dental dam. Then the dentist gets to work, drilling into the crown of the tooth to get into the pulp chamber and root canals to clear out the infected tissue. Once the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and reshaped, the void is filled with a rubber-like biocompatible material and sealed. A temporary filling may be placed in the access hole if a permanent one cannot be placed during the same visit. 

Can a root canal be taken care of in a single visit?

A root canal can be taken care of in a single visit, but that depends on your personal schedule and the extent of dental restoration required for the damaged tooth.  Since root canals often involve teeth with some degree of previous decay — sometimes significant — outer tooth structure will usually need repair as well. Installation of a dental crown (sometimes with a post for support) is nearly always associated with a root canal. Sleep dentistry may be a good option for those who would rather have all the work done in one visit. 

How do I take care of myself after a root canal?

After receiving a root canal, special care should be taken if the treated tooth has not been restored. Until that happens, do not bite or chew with it. Opt for soft, easily ingested foods (nothing hard or chewy) as much as you can. Waiting until the numbness from the local anesthetic has worn off is preferable, as you might bite your cheek or tongue on accident. If you do undergo the procedure under general anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home from the office afterward. 

Is a root canal better than a tooth removal?

A root canal is better than tooth removal (extraction) because it allows you to keep the affected tooth and avoids the necessity of procedures like dental bridges and dental implants which can be more invasive and more expensive. While the nerve and pulp within the tooth are removed during a root canal, the structure remains intact. As long as the pulp chamber and root canals are properly cleaned, filled, and sealed, that tooth should function for years to come. 

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