A root canal by any other name…
More than 25 million people a year opt for root fillings to treat their deep tooth decay. Better Dental offers this, and other options for deep decay treatments in our Apex office.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Signs to look for
Here are some signs that suggest that you might need root canal therapy: . Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure . Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed) . Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth . Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums . A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
These are some key things to look for, but there are many cases that can only be diagnosed with the help of a dental radiograph. If you think you may need a root canal, please schedule an appointment with us today in our Apex office.
How Did My Root Get Infected?
A bit about the infection process
The most common reason for needing a root canal is that the inner tissue of the tooth (the pulp) has been infected and begun to die. This happens after the hard outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) becomes infected with a cavity that spreads down through the tooth. If left untreated, this cavity will eventually reach the pulp which causes a deep infection inside the tooth. From the core of the tooth, the infection will eventually spread down the roots of the tooth. At this point the only way to cure the infection is root canal therapy.
Root Therapy Procedure
What is involved?
A root filling is a very delicate procedure. Because the infected area inside the tooth contains nerve tissue, we administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. We can also provide sedation with Nitrous Oxide to relieve any anxiety you may be feeling. Significant advancements in anesthetic dental procedures have successfully made root fillings a comfortable experience. Today, modern dentistry has overcome the pain-inducing procedures that, at one time were common enough to give “root canals” a bad name.
Once the anesthetic is in full effect, we remove any infected tissue inside the affected tooth. The root canal chambers are cleaned thoroughly with several medications that disinfect and dissolve any tissue and bacteria that may remain.
We then fill the empty space in the root canal with a special cement to seal the area and prevent future contamination. Finally, we will x-ray the treated tooth to ensure that the tooth and root are fully sealed and free from contamination. It is then necessary to place a permanent filling within the tooth and a crown over the tooth to ensure that no bacteria can leak into it.
After the procedure is complete, and your body has had a chance to heal the tissue around the previously infected tooth, you should be able to chew your food and go through everyday life as if nothing had ever happened. A root canal should last for a long time, however reinfection is a possibility and additional treatment may sometimes be required.
Alternatives to Root Canal
The alternative to a root canal is extraction and replacement, usually with a dental implant. This may sound like a scary proposition, but can sometimes be the best scenario if it becomes clear that preserving the tooth will cause complications in the future. If you have a tooth removed, there are several options available to you, but the dental implant is hard to beat. The technology used in dental implants has vastly improved in recent years and this can look and feel nearly identical to your actual tooth.
Let Us Help You Out
Finding the right treatment, together
If you’ve been told you may be in need of a root canal, you may be unsure what to do next. Questions of insurance, financing may come to mind. Or, perhaps you’re looking for a second opinion.
We believe that accurately assessing and diagnosing the proper treatment for an infected root canal is vital to your dental health. At Better Dental, we recommend root therapy treatment only when it is clearly the best, most desirable treatment for our guests. As always, we want to discuss, answer questions, and respect your right to choose when considering root canal therapy. For many of our guests, root therapy can be a great option. While for others, root therapy isn’t ideal. As with any dental procedure we offer at Better Dental, we take time to consider all pros, cons, risks, and benefits with you – and make sure we provide the treatment needed for the best outcomes.
The first step to determining your need for a root canal is a complete assessment of your dental health and medical well being. Schedule your consultation today. We can’t wait to help you feel your best.