Columbus, OH 43214
Columbus, OH 43220
Root Canals (also called "Endodontics")
Symptoms of a tooth that needs a root canal are sensitivity to heat and/or cold, severe pain in the tooth or in the gum or jaw surrounding it, a chip or crack that reaches into or exposes the pulp of the tooth.
Sometimes injury or decay of teeth can reach into the nerve center of the tooth, called the pulp. Once this happens, the blood vessels inside your tooth die and your body can no longer control (or kill) the bacteria housed inside. This bacteria lives and breathes inside your tooth. The bacteria give off toxic by-products which leak out of the end of the root into the bone, forming what is known as an abscess. When this happens, root canal therapy is the only way to save your tooth. The root canal however only allows you to save the tooth. The damage caused by the decay or fracture still needs to be repaired.
After the root canal procedure is complete, your tooth may need a large pin-retained filling (called a crown build-up) and a crown (also known as a cap). This crown may need to be replaced after a number of years, and occasionally, a root canal will need to be retreated years after the initial treatment occurred. One very important point that we would like to make is that despite what you may have heard, root canal therapy is not painful or even uncomfortable. Our patients unanimously tell us that their root canal experience was great! No pain or discomfort during or after. They can't understand why they were even nervous!
After numbing the tooth, we make an opening in the tooth in order to reach the pulp chamber. The infection is then removed and the roots are cleaned and shaped. Once all the infection is removed, we fill the pulp chamber and root canal(s) (teeth have anywhere from one canal to 3 canals with rare cases having as many as six) with gutta percha, a rubbery substance. The tooth is then filled. Often, especially in molars, the tooth will then need to be protected with a crown. When there is not enough tooth left to support a crown, Dr. Kvitko will insert pins or a post and core in order to give structure underneath the crown. The gutta percha inside the root canals and pulp chamber can last a lifetime, although not in every case.