Extractions and
Root Canals

Root Canals

Teeth that have good functional and esthetic purpose, and have good gum and bone support should always be saved if restorable. If a tooth has good structural integrity, or can be restored with integrity, it is always better to save rather than to extract. Should the pulp of such a tooth become infected or irreversibly inflamed, Root Canal Treatment is necessary. Although the words “Root Canal” cause some people to panic, the actual procedure should be pain free. It is usually the pain, gum, or jaw swelling from the infected tooth prior to Root Canal Treatment that people associate with the term. Think of Root Canal Treatment as the cure. Patients should expect mild to moderate post-operative pain that is usually managed well with analgesics and bite avoidance for a few days.

The Procedure

Dr. Caouette makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the canals. Some teeth have only one canal, while others may have four or more. The canals are shaped and cleansed and then filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is a soft, rubber-like material that adapts intimately to the inside of each canal. It is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals, and is followed by a filling to close the opening.

The Procedure

Dr. Caouette consults your medical history with you in advance and the possible need for sedation to help you relax. An IV sedation will often be recommended for wisdom teeth extractions to make the procedure as comfortable as possible; this also allows us to administer medications that help minimize postoperative pain and swelling.

Learn more about Sedation

You receive thorough aftercare instructions. Residual discomfort is usually managed with over the counter or prescription analgesics, and most patients return to normal eating within a few days.

Extractions

When are extractions necessary?

  • Pulp infection – If decay or trauma is not addressed early, infection and tooth damage may become so severe that root canal therapy is not recommended. A Pulp infection can spread to soft tissues, creating an abscess, or worse, a life-threatening cellulitis.
  • Advanced Periodontal disease – Advanced gum disease that cannot be managed and treatment prognosis is poor.
  • Breakage or Root Fracture– If breakage or a fracture extends below the gum-line beyond a level of reasonable repair.
  • Severe crowding – Extractions may avoid twisting and overlaps that spoil the look of your smile, and create nooks where tooth decay and gum disease prevail.
  • In preparation for severe crowding orthodontic cases, or dentures.
  • Wisdom teeth – Third molars may crowd healthy teeth or cause mouth pain from a surrounding bacterial infection. The spread of this type of infection can be life threatening. Some stay impacted, not fully emerging from bone or soft tissue.

Dr. Caouette handles most exactions, including wisdom tooth extractions in office.

Get the quality care that you deserve.