Posts for tag: root canal
Which would you rather have — the flu or a root canal procedure? Nearly 80 percent of people recently surveyed by the American Association of Endodontists wisely chose the root canal. If this takes you by surprise, then let us bring you up to date on root canal treatment today. It’s nothing like the experience that once made it the butt of jokes and a benchmark against which other “undesirable” experiences were measured.
The term “root canal” actually has two meanings. It is part of the pulp-filled chamber at the center of every tooth containing nerves and blood vessels that keeps teeth vital (alive). It’s also the endodontic (endoÂ = inside; dont = tooth) procedure that treats inflammation and infection in this tissue. Common causes of pulp problems are traumatic damage (for example a crack, chip, or root fracture), deep decay, or gum disease.
The first sign of a problem is typically pain — ranging from acute and intense pangs when biting down, to lingering discomfort after consuming hot or cold foods, to a chronic dull ache and pressure, or tenderness and swelling in nearby gums. The primary pain may abate as the nerves in the pulp die, but the infection will continue, compromising the affected tooth, jeopardizing the health of the surrounding tissues, and often triggering secondary pain.
Pain-Relieving, Tooth-Saving Treatment
Endodontic treatment, by contrast, is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. The tooth and surrounding area are numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure begins. In order to access the diseased pulp, a small opening is made in the biting surface of the tooth. Tiny instruments are used to remove the pulp, clean and disinfect the root canal(s) and pulp chamber, and prepare the empty tooth interior to receive a biocompatible filling material to prevent bacteria from returning. A permanent crown may be placed over the tooth at that time, or a second visit may be needed. A crown (cap) is important to the tooth's long-term strength and functionality.
For a day or two following treatment you may experience temporary sensitivity, which often responds to an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen. Occasionally, prescription medications, including antibiotics, may be needed.
All in all, doesn’t saving a tooth sound easier and more constructive than coming down with the flu?
If you would like more information about root canal treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide To Root Canal Treatment.”
Could your mouth be trying to tell you that trouble is brewing?
It’s important that you are listening to what your mouth is trying to tell you. While not all dental issues will cause symptoms if you are noticing any changes that give you pause then it’s always a good idea to turn to our Bethesda, MD, family dentist Dr. John Kelly to find out whether or not you might require dental treatment such as a root canal.
Root canal treatment is actually more common than you might think and really not as big a deal as you might have been led to believe. Ignore those silly horror stories. In fact, the belief that root canals are painful is a myth that we are here to debunk. So, why is a root canal sometimes necessary?
While tooth enamel is very strong it can still become damaged by decay, trauma, or an infection. When these issues are bad enough they can break through the enamel and enter the inside of the tooth, infecting the dental pulp and root canals. Once bacteria has entered the inside of the tooth the only option is for our Bethesda, MD, dentist to go in and disinfect the tooth while also removing the infected dental pulp.
A dental pulp is a fleshy mass that is integral to the development of a tooth. Of course, once the tooth has fully matured the pulp is no longer necessary for it to thrive. If the pulp has been infected the most common and telltale sign is a toothache.
A toothache can manifest itself in many ways. You may only notice pain when chewing or putting pressure on the tooth, while others may experience constant pain. The pain can range from mild to severe. Of course, any dental pain isn’t normal and it’s important that you nip the problem in the bud as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a toothache please give your family dentist a call right away.
Other signs that you may need a root canal include:
- Lingering or sudden tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
- Puffy, red, or tender gums surrounding the affected tooth
- Tooth darkening (a sign that the roots of the tooth have decayed)
- A pimple-like bump on the gums (a sign of an infection)
If you are dealing with a toothache or other symptoms that you suspect might be warning you that you need care then don’t hesitate to turn to our Bethesda, MD, family dentist right away. Call Bethesda Row Dental today!
One of the most effective techniques for saving decayed or injured teeth is the root canal treatment. Yet when many people hear they need it, they become nervous at the prospect.
Much of this stems from a common misunderstanding that undergoing a root canal is painful. It’s not — today’s anesthetics are quite effective in numbing pain during a procedure, and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen are usually sufficient to manage any discomfort afterwards.
In fact, a root canal treatment relieves pain caused by decay within a tooth. As decay progresses, it can enter the interior known as the pulp, which contains bundles of nerves and blood vessels. It attacks these nerves causing pain and infection. If the infection progresses through passageways known as root canals that are in the roots of the tooth, the pain can intensify. More important, the tooth is in danger of loss as the root and connective tissues that hold the tooth in place are injured from the spreading infection.
During a root canal treatment, we access the pulp by drilling a small access hole, usually in the biting surface or in the rear of a front tooth. Once we enter the pulp chamber we remove all the contaminated tissue. Once thoroughly cleansed, we fill the empty chamber and canals with a special filling (usually gutta percha) to prevent future infection. The access hole is then sealed and at a subsequent visit we strongly recommend placing a permanent crown to provide further protection from damage to the tooth.
Root canal treatments are quite common. All general dentists have been trained in endodontic treatment and can perform most types of procedures. More difficult cases (like a complex root canal network that may be hard to access) may require the services of an endodontist, a specialist in root canals. Endodontists use advanced techniques and specialized microscopic equipment to treat complicated situations.
It’s actually good news if we recommend you undergo a root canal treatment — it means your tooth has a good chance of survival once it’s disinfected and the decay is removed. But don’t delay: the sooner we can treat your tooth, the better your chances of a healthy outcome.
If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Common Concerns about Root Canal Treatment.”
Hearing that you need a root canal can bring up all sorts of feelings: fear of discomfort during the procedure, confusion about what might have caused the problem, and concern about how to prevent needing another one. At Bethesda Row Dental in Bethesda, MD, our dentist Dr. John Kelly has been performing dental procedures like root canals for many years. He wants to make sure his patients understand that root canals are not a painful experience; in fact, they are designed to eliminate pain. It's also important for dental patients to know the reasons why they might need a root canal, which are explained here.
A small area of decay in the teeth is called a cavity and is treated by your Bethesda dentist by removing that area of decay and replacing it with a dental filling. A root canal can be compared to a cavity filling if the decay has infiltrated the pulp tissue inside the tooth. This causes an infection, which, in turn, can lead to severe pain. By removing these inner tissues, including the nerves that extend into the roots of the teeth, a root canal eradicates infection, stops the pain and saves the tooth. A rubber material called gutta percha fills in the hollow area of the tooth, and a crown keeps everything in place.
A car or sports accident can cause a number of injuries, including to a tooth. If your Bethesda dentist sees that a tooth has been cracked, chipped or otherwise damaged, it may be at risk for infection getting in. A root canal can also solve this problem, eliminating the need to extract the tooth completely.
If a prior dental procedure, such as a filling or crown, has failed, you may also need a root canal. Visiting your Bethesda dentist, Dr. John Kelly, regularly for checkups can monitor any changes in your dental health and help prevent the need for root canals and other procedures. For any further questions, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Bethesda Row Dental in Bethesda, MD today!