Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a way to save a tooth that is infected and would otherwise need to be removed. It's a proven procedure that can restore both the health and appearance of the mouth and teeth.
Root Canal Treatment in Morehead City, NC
The inside of a tooth is composed of a soft tissue called pulp, which is typically protected by the hard enamel that surrounds it. But, if harmful bacteria manage to get inside, it can cause a severe infection. This can happen due to severe cavities or because of an injury. The risk of neglected cavities leading to pulp infections is one of the reasons regular dental checkups are so important. Without treatment, the tooth may need to be extracted. Root canal treatment is an effective way to address an infected tooth and save it from extraction.
How is root canal treatment performed?
The root canal treatment process begins with taking digital X-rays to evaluate the damage. We then normally provide sedation for comfort and your dentist will access the inside of the tooth from the top, remove any infected material and clean out the tooth. Then the inner tooth can be flushed with an antimicorbial liqiuid through the root canals and down to the jawbone. After that, the tooth is filled with a medicated substance to strengthen it and help it to heal quickly. To protect the tooth from further damage, a dental crown is placed on top of the tooth.
How do I know if my root canal is infected?
A patient suffering from an infected root canal will almost certainly recognize that there is something wrong. They will usually be in severe pain and will notice the following signs:
- Severe and intense toothaches that won’t go away
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks
- Swollen and tender lymph nodes
- Recurring abscesses on the gums
How long does the pain from a root canal last?
It is a common misconception that root canals are very painful but in reality, it’s typically no more painful than a regular dental filling. An anesthetic is usually given before the procedure to minimize discomfort during and after the procedure. Some mild tenderness or sensitivity may be felt for a few days post-treatment as the surrounding gum tissue may be swollen or irritated as the root canal heals.
What is pulpotomy?
If you experience sensitivity or constant pain, or if the tissue around a tooth is swollen and painful, you may have pulp damage. Damage to the interior living part of the tooth can occur because of trauma, decay or other infection. The ‘pulp’ refers to the live part of the tooth.
If the pulp is damaged, it is important to retain as much of the living pulp as possible, while also treating the infection or removing any damaged sections. One way we do this is with a pulpotomy.
A pulpotomy can be performed if the pulp root is unaffected, and just the tip of the pulp is damaged. If the root is healthy we will remove all the decay and then place material over the remaining pulp to protect it. Finally, we will place a crown.
A pulpectomy, more commonly known as a root canal is performed if the damage has extended into the tooth root, we will need to remove all of the pulp extending into the root.
What are alternatives to root canal treatment?
Most people facing root canal treatment are curious as to whether there are alternative procedures worth considering. Since endodontic therapy is considered a “last line of defense” for restoring your tooth, the only remaining options are to have your tooth extracted or wait until you’re in pain and have it removed at a later date. Unfortunately, with either of these options, you risk the infection spreading deeper into your face or adjacent teeth. Getting a root canal is the best possible solution.
If you opt to have your tooth extracted, there’s still the concern of replacing it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the extra space in your bite can throw off the alignment of your surrounding teeth. Two of the more common replacement options include a dental bridge or implant.
If you have any more questions about Root Canal Treatment or about Sound Dental, contact us today using the buttons below.