Root Canal Therapy
Root canals provides you with an alternative to tooth extraction when infection and decay have compromised the integrity of the pulp of your tooth. If you have need of root canal therapy, you are part of a large number being treated each year. As a matter of fact, according to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 15 million root canals are performed each year. That’s 41,000 root canals a day, so it’s quite a common treatment. Root canal therapy perceptions formed decades ago before the introduction of modern technologies and anesthetics. Today, root canal treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. Root canal therapy removes damaged tissue from inside your tooth that is causing you pain. At Stonebrook Family Dental, we can educate you on what to expect with root canal therapy and walk you through your options.
What are Root Canals?
The term “root canal” has a couple different meanings. It refers to the actual passages within the tooth between the pulp and the tooth roots that contain nerves and blood vessels. Once an adult tooth has emerged from the gums, the tooth’s nerve doesn’t serve a specific purpose other than sensing heat, cold, and other stimuli. When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, it is standard procedure to eliminate the infection and related pain by removing the nerve and the infected pulp inside the tooth. This thorough cleaning the inside of the tooth and subsequent sealing is referred to as a root canal. A root canal cleans out the infected tooth pulp and also disinfects the canals of the tooth.
Once the infection is resolved, the canal is filled in to prevent any further infection. Your tooth has been saved, but because it is no longer a living tooth since the the pulp, nerves and blood vessels have been removed. A dead tooth can be prone to fracture and can become more brittle. To protect your tooth from these new complications, Dr. Varley will restore the tooth with a tooth-colored crown to guard it from injury or infection. A crown is stronger than natural tooth enamel and preserves the structural integrity of the tooth preventing breakage.
Why Are Root Canals Needed?
Root canal therapy help you avoid having a tooth pulled. Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. When teeth become diseased or injured root canals can save them from extraction. Root canal therapy is necessary when an untreated cavity travels all the way to the pulp.
Occasionally, root canal therapy may also be needed when deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause nerve damage. Once the pulp becomes infected, it can begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is known as a tooth abscess). The pulp of your tooth contains many blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, you can experience extreme discomfort. This condition cannot heal on its own. Ignoring the pain from a tooth infection, or masking the pain with painkillers, will not help resolve your condition. If not treated, the tissues around the root of the tooth can become infected. If left to fester and spread, this bacteria can damage the bone that holds the jaw. At this point, you will most likely lose the tooth entirely. Don’t allow your condition get to this point! Dr. Varely can give you the care you need to save your tooth and relieve your pain.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Infection?
Symptoms that indicate the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. However, sometimes no symptoms are apparent and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup. (This is just one of the many reasons to make and keep your 6-month appointments.) These dental checkups and cleanings can prevent small problems from becoming big issues. Keep in mind that not all types of teeth pain mean you need a root canal. If you are in pain, it is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right. Call and make an appointment if you notice anything out of the norm with your teeth or mouth.
What to Expect Following Root Canals
Most patients that are treated with root canal therapy can immediately feel a lessening of their infection-generated pain. Post-procedure pain and discomfort are easily remedied with common over-the-counter medications. Patients who are waiting for their permanent filling or crown are advised to avoid chewing on the treated tooth, to prevent any additional damage or pain before the treatment is completed. To ensure proper healing, make sure to brush and floss regularly and rinse with warm salt water to relieve occasional inflammation.
Call for a Consultation
If you are suspicious that you may need a root canal, call Stonebrook Family Dental today to make an appointment. Taking care of symptoms when they hit is crucial so that your condition doesn’t worsen and cause permanent consequences. Root canals are a simple procedure to treat a tooth that is infected. Stonebrook Family Dental can give you the treatment you need. Contact our office today in Aurora, CO, at 303-872-7907.