What is root canal therapy, and when might I need it?

Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that can help to save the natural tooth from an infected pulp. Root canal treatments are performed by dentists and usually require two visits. The first visit includes a diagnostic exam, x-rays, and necessary root canal preparation work. If the dentist finds signs of infection in your tooth’s pulp tissue, they will recommend this treatment. It involves removing all the infected tissue from inside the tooth and replacing it with filling material. Drs. Mircea Mitu and George D’Louhy of Manteca, California, can help educate patients on when they need root canal therapy. 

Do I need root canal therapy? 

The need for root canal therapy will depend on several factors:

  • The extent of damage to the pulp and how deep this has spread into the tooth. That means that you may be able to delay a root canal treatment if there is not enough infection present in your tooth’s pulp tissue. However, it’s essential that your dentist check again before putting off a root canal too long as re-infection is always possible. Symptoms of inflammation such as swelling or pain should be monitored over time to make sure they do not increase rather than decrease, which would indicate a more severe problem with your tooth.
  • Where the infected tissue is located in your tooth, if your pulp is damaged or inflamed, your dentist will need to remove the infection from this area before root canal treatment can begin. They will use various techniques, such as a dental drill using a slow-speed handpiece with irrigation tools.
  • The patient’s age and overall health condition will play an essential part in deciding if you need root canal therapy. An immature tooth (less than eight years old) is less likely to require a root canal treatment because the root and surrounding tissues haven’t fully developed yet, while an older tooth will require root canal therapy to avoid extraction.

Sometimes a tooth can be saved from extraction using root canal therapy. Your dentist will advise you on the best course of action when a severely decayed tooth is discovered. 

Learn more about root canal therapy 

If you believe you need endodontic treatment, contact the team at Family Dental Center of Manteca, CA today at (209) 420-1205.

Dr. Mircea Mitu

Mircea Mitu DDS, FICOI

Dr. Mircea Mitu has almost three decades of dental experience, including nine years of associateship and managing clinical practices in the East Bay Area and several years of practice and academic positions in prosthodontics. Before setting up his practice, he completed hundreds of hours in postgraduate dentistry. He has attended prestigious organizations like the UCLA Center for Aesthetic Program and Misch International Implant Institute.

Dr. Mitu is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and San Joaquin County Dental Association and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.