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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
                                                             
      Call: 308-436-3491       www.dentalgentlecare.com           

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ROOT CANAL THERAPY EXPLAINED

The goal of root canal treatment is saving the tooth!

    In the past injured or diseased teeth often had to be removed.  Today, they often can be saved through endodontic or root canal treatment.

What is the pulp?

     A root canal treatment generally involves the removal and replacement of a tooth's pulp.  The pulp is soft tissue containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.

bulletThe pulp is found in a canal that runs through the center of the hard tissue on the inside of the tooth (the dentin)
bulletThe pulp extends from the pulp chamber in the crown down through the root canal to the top of the root in the jawbone.
bulletA tooth has only one pulp chamber but may have more than one root and several root canals.
bullet If the pulp becomes damaged through injury or disease and cannot repair itself, bacteria may leak into the pulp causing the pulp to die.  Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow and cellular activity and the pressure cannot be relieved from inside the tooth.
bullet If a root canal procedure is not performed an abscess can form at the tip of the root and cause considerable pain.  This pain can be felt when biting down, chewing on it and eating hot or cold food or drinks.  

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Why do I need root canal therapy?
     Because the tooth will not heal by itself. Without treatment:

bullet Infection will spread
bulletThe bone around the tooth will begin to break down
bullet The tooth may fall-out. 

Root canal therapy or pulpectomy consists of making a small hole in the tooth and then removing the tiny dead nerves, blood vessels  and debris from each canal in the tooth. The roots are then shaped, disinfected and filled with an inert material.  

     The pain will usually worsen until you are forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually an extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift, resulting in a bad bite. 

     Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy.

Why have a root canal?

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It's always best to keep your original teeth

What to expect:

At most offices the following procedure would be done in TWO appointments however at our office it is now possible to have the procedure  done in ONLY ONE APPOINTMENTThis has the advantage of only being NUMBED ONCE and means missing LESS work, school or family time.

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Now you can have root canal treatment in only one appointment!

LightSpeed~ combined science, engineering and research in developing this endodontic instrument that is now being used at our office. LightSpeed instrumentation is conservative.  It removes sufficient decayed dentin to clean and shape without removing health tooth structure which weakens the root.  This approach reduces the risk of future root fracture.

Root canal treatment in only ONE visit!

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT WITHOUT A CROWN IS NOT COMPLETE AND COULD CAUSE FURTHER DAMAGE AND POSSIBLE LOSS OF THE TOOTH!

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Root Canal Video

Click here to view video of root canal: Root Canal Video

This video shows the procedure being done.

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What are the risks and complications?
     More than 70-90 percent of root canal treatments are successful. However, sometimes a case needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went undetected, some of the inert filling does not completely seal off the roots from bacteria, the tooth is damaged during the procedure (perforation), or the tooth fractures between or within the roots, or the fracturing of a canal filing instrument used-both of which rarely occur. Occasionally,  root canal therapy will fail altogether because re-treatment range of 60% to 65% successful. A root canal is more likely to fail if a permanent filling or crown is not placed to protect the tooth.  A root canal can fail within days, weeks, months or even many years after the procedure has been completed and will be marked by a return of pain. If you need retreatment of a root canal we will refer you too: Endodontic Associates of Fort Collins

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What happens after treatment?

     Natural tissue inflammation may cause discomfort for a few days, which can be controlled by an over-the-counter analgesic. A follow-up exam can monitor tissue healing. Also, if the filling is large a crown may be needed to protect the tooth from breaking.

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The rest is up to you!

     The restored tooth can remain healthy as long as its roots are nourished by the  surrounding tissues and it received good oral care.

     From this point on, brush and floss regularly, avoid chewing hard foods on the treated tooth, and see your dentist regularly.

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Source: Academy of General Dentist and American Dental Association.

www.rxroots.com  

~We have NO financial interest in this company.

February 06, 2008

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          If you have any questions please e-mail me at: drdpeterson@scottsbluff.net
                                                                                 308-436-3491 Office number

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
Confidentiality of data including your identity, is respected  by this Web site. We undertake to honor or exceed the legal requirements of medical/health information privacy that apply in Nebraska.

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