What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment involves cleaning out and disinfecting the root canal of the affected tooth by removing all infected, decayed, or damaged material. Once the inside of your tooth is clean, Dr. Nishime can seal the tooth off and place a crown. The root canal treatment process offers numerous benefits that can enhance your oral and overall health.
Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
Undergoing a root canal treatment can have several benefits for your smile and your health in the long run. Some of these benefits include:
- Saves your natural teeth from extraction
- Eliminates the need for more costly or invasive procedures
- Stops infection and helps prevent reinfection
- Prevents infection from spreading to other parts of your body
- Alleviates pain, sensitivity, and throbbing
- Preserves your tooth’s root, preventing jawbone deterioration (resorption)
Signs That You May Need a Root Canal
Dr. Nishime encourages his patients to be on the lookout for the following signs of a tooth infection, as they may be an indicator that root canal treatment is necessary:
- Difficulty chewing
- Dental sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Swollen or damaged gums
- Damage to the bone surrounding the tooth
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Severe tooth pain
- A loose tooth
- Abscesses on the gums
- Holes, cracks, or chips in your teeth
The Root Canal Treatment Process
Before undergoing root canal treatment, you’ll attend an initial consultation with Dr. Nishime. Dr. Nishime will determine if a root canal is right for you by thoroughly examining your mouth, reviewing your medical history, and discussing your smile goals with you. At this time, he’ll also inform you of your other treatment options and offer sedation dentistry as part of your procedure if you experience dental anxiety.
Before a root canal can take place, we’ll clean your mouth, then apply a local anesthetic to the soft tissue around the surgical site. The anesthetic will help ensure you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
We can also apply your sedative of choice at this time. We’ll then place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep the surgical site sanitary while Dr. Nishime works. Once we’re sure your anesthetic and your sedative are working properly, Dr. Nishime will proceed.
Root Canal Treatment
Using special tools, Dr. Nishime will make an opening in the affected tooth. Using this opening, he’ll remove all of the dental pulp as well as any damaged tooth material. Next, he’ll disinfect the tooth and fill it with a bio-inert material, most likely a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha.
Dr. Nishime will seal the tooth further with a filling, and depending on your preferences, will then top the tooth with a dental crown. This process helps ensure infection doesn’t reoccur later on and reinforces the structural integrity of the tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our dental professionals will take every step we can to ensure your comfort and safety every time you visit our Honolulu office. We’ll make sure your anesthetic and any sedative option you may have chosen is working before the procedure takes place. If you have any questions or concerns, please tell Dr. Nishime about them at your initial consultation and he’ll do whatever he can to address them.
Once your dental crown is placed or your filling has fully hardened, it should be safe for you to eat. However, we recommend waiting until your anesthetic has fully worn off so you don’t accidentally bite down on your lips or tongue. Be sure to follow all the post-operative instructions given by Dr. Nishime and his team to ensure your treatment’s success.
The average root canal takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete, although this timeframe can vary based on the complexity of your case and the extent of the damage to your teeth. Dr. Nishime can give you a more accurate estimate once he has the necessary information.
The cost of your root canal treatment will depend on several factors, such as how many teeth require treatment, the extent of the damage and/or infection, and your insurance. We encourage you to call your dental insurance provider beforehand to learn what your plan will cover. To help make treatment more affordable for our patients, Advanced Restorative Dentistry also offers a membership plan. Call us at (808) 732-0291 to learn more.
Don’t Wait, Eliminate Your Infection With Root Canal Therapy!
Root canals are only an option if the problem is caught quickly enough. That’s why it’s important to stay vigilant for possible signs of infection and extensive damage. If you suspect you need a root canal, don’t hesitate to call Advanced Restorative Dentistry of Honolulu by dialing (808) 732-0291. You can also fill out our online contact form at the bottom of the page and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly.