Root Canal

Healthy Tooth. In his office in Arlington Texas, Dr Joseph Reed performs Root Canal Therapy, otherwise known as Endodontic Therapy, for patients who suffer from tooth infection or tooth pain that comes from the pulp. 

The procedure takes around two hours in most cases - nine out of ten times will be completed in ONE VISIT.

What is Root Canal? A Root Canal is a procedure that removes the dead and infected tissue from inside of a tooth, millions of people undergo this each year. Each adult tooth is made up of layers. The outermost white layer is known as enamel. The following hard layer is known as dentin. Beneath those layers is a soft tissue known as the pulp. Pulp, in addition to containing nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels, serves a primary function during the development and growth of the root of a tooth (forms the tooth from the inside). Your teeth cannot survive without the proper nourishment and growth that pulp provides during developement.

When the pulp located inside of a tooth is inflamed or infected, Root Canal Therapy is the best way to save your tooth and prevent possible tooth loss. Inflammation or infection of the pulp can be caused by a multitude of reasons including trauma to a tooth, deep decay, leaking restorations, repeated dental procedures on a specific tooth, cracks or chips, etc. Even if there is no visible evidence of trauma to the surface of a tooth, pulp damage may be present. When left untreated, pulp inflammation or infection can lead to pain or cause and abscess. An abscess is a cyst (bag) which contains infectious fluids coming from the infected tooth, throbbing and persistent pain within a tooth due to an infection that has spread to the root. In his office, Dr. Joseph Reed performs root canal procedures on abscessed teeth. A tooth can become abscessed as a result of decay, cracks to the surface of a tooth, or trauma to the tooth. Alternatives to Root Canal Therapy include extraction, implants, or a bridge. Root Canal treatment, in summary, is the most efficient and conservative method to save your tooth. When having a Root Canal procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth. After a thorough cleaning, the inner portion of the tooth is then dried, filled and sealed. Once the tooth has been filled and sealed, a crown is used to fully restore the tooth, allowing the tooth to continue functioning properly and efficiently. Keeping your natural teeth rather than an implant or bridge promotes proper chewing and speaking, a natural appearance, and protection for the surrounding teeth from excess strain and wear. You can think of root canal therapy as "taking a bird house and tipping it on its side, fillig it with concrete and letting it set, How many birds can live in it now?" the birds are the bacteria that gave you the infection.

During Root Canal Therapy, the tooth is given a local anesthetic or numbing agent. Then the infection and nerve are removed and medication is placed in the tooth to treat the problem. After the infection is removed, a filling is placed in the area and the tooth is ready to be prepared for a crown.

A tooth that has undergone Root Canal Therapy is weak and fragile and must be crowned to give the tooth sufficient strength.  Brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular preventative dental check-ups.

Modern Root Canal Therapy

The way root canal therapy is performed today is very different than even ten years ago. Today we have modern tools to visualize the problem and to perform the procedure more efficiently. Most simple infections can be treated with a root canal procedure in one visit.  However, occasionally when the area becomes calcified – or hard and dense from years of slow infection, we may need multiple visits.  Nickle-titanium files and greater taper files are the preferred tools for cleaning and shaping canals.

Non-surgical Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy is a dental procedure, performed in our Arlington TX office using local anesthetics sometimes in conwhere we remove the nerve inside of the tooth because it has become irreversibly damaged or infected. This is normally because bacteria gets in to the pulp or nerve and causes an infection or because the tooth was fractured or cracked. ROOT CANAL is a commonly used term for endodontic therapy or root canal therapy which Dr. Reed performs in one or two visits. To perform this procedure properly Dr. Reed must remove the entire nerve and clean out the tooth, as well as cleaning, shaping and 3-dimensional filling of the canal system with gutta percha and a dental sealer. The procedure enables you to keep your natural tooth, which is preferable to any other type of replacement.

How Does Dr. Reed Perform Root Canal Therapy?

Step One:

First, Dr. Reed administers a local anesthetic to the area, the tooth is prepared (filed down for the crown) and imaged with scanning computer (Cerec Primescan by Dentsply/Sirona) for the creation of the permanent porcelain crown. The canals are located and measured, so they can be cleansed and shaped. The crown is being designed and milled while the doctor does the root canal procedure.

Step Two:

Then, Dr. Reed cleans and shapes the canals with a special instruments (endodontic files), Gates-Glidden drills, Piezo drills, ultrasonic instruments, PHAST laser technique, the canals are chemically treated, rinsed and dried. Resin material called gutta-percha and endodontic cement (sealer) are used to finally seal the canal system. A post and core is used in most cases, a post is an anchor which locks down the resin center of the tooth called a "build up".  A post looks like a screw with a rectangular head and it is anchored in the main and biggest canal. This makes it posible to avoid the problems with crowns coming off.

Step Three:

In this step, Dr. Joe Reed cements the permanent crown. With Dr. Reed and Arlington Dental, almost always the Cerec Crown is placed at the same visit.  A crown is placed over the treated tooth in order to protect it, its a material hard enough to chew on for many years. Any areas of infection around the roots will begin to heal.

During the initial few days following your procedure, teeth tend to feel slightly sensitive, even more so depending on the amount of pain and level of infection prior to the procedure. However, the pain, if any, is very simple to treat and tends to subside over the course of a few days. The tooth may continue to feel slightly abnormal in comparison to your natural teeth even after the procedure has been completed and you are fully healed, however pain should be completely relieved at this point.