22Jun2017
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Rescue Your Tooth With Root Canal Therapy

TEETH ARE ALIVE, just like every other part of the body. That means they are susceptible to infection. Whenever an infection becomes severe enough, the tainted part has to go or else all the surrounding tissue will be compromised as well and the patient’s life will be at risk! That’s where a root canal comes in.

What Is A Root Canal?
Root canals are a way of getting rid of the infection in a tooth without getting rid of the actual tooth. A root canal won’t save your tooth—by the time you need one, it’s too late for that, but it will allow you to keep it.

A dentist or endodontist will drill into the tooth to reach the infected pulp at its core. Next, the pulp is removed, leaving the tooth hollow. After the space is flushed out, the root is filled with sealer and the crown with cement, and the whole tooth is capped off with an artificial crown. This procedure ensures that no more bacteria can get inside the tooth and minimizes the chances of the tooth breaking.

When Do You Need One?
The way teeth become infected is through decay, cavities, or cracks from an injury, which means it’s usually an avoidable problem. If you’re brushing and flossing properly, your teeth are unlikely to reach a level of decay that allows bacteria to reach the living dental pulp inside them. However, some people are genetically more susceptible to tooth decay.

Infection can lead to an abscess at the tooth’s root or death of the pulp. If you have tooth decay extensive enough to require a root canal, you’ll probably be experiencing significant pain in and around the infected tooth. With an abscess, there will also be swelling and inflammation. Tooth pain alone isn’t always a sign of an infection, but it’s always worth checking out to make sure.

Other symptoms of tooth infection include:

-Temperature sensitivity
-Sensitivity to pressure (particularly when chewing)
-Fever
-Swollen lymph nodes under jaw
-Rush of foul-tasting fluid and pain relief if abscess drains

Before You Get A Root Canal…

You need to keep in mind that the pain which prompted you to call for an emergency visit had been present before but was less bothersome. Therefore, at a heightened state of pain, and in the presence of large swelling or infection, the dental anesthesia that is used to numb the pain, may not work right away or as profoundly. It may take a combination of different techniques and multiple anesthetics to numb an infected tooth needing root canal treatment.  The experience is more ideal if you listen to your body’s warning and come in when the pain has not become too intense. Typically the pain spreads along the entire side of the jaw where the affected tooth is located and an ear ache is experienced as well. The tooth feels raised compared to the adjacent teeth and it is painful to bite on. Hot or cold food or beverage could set off the pain.

At Better Smiles Dental Care, we routinely perform Root Canal Treatment for front and back teeth. This may require one or more visits. In some instances where we perceive and discover very constricted canals, we may choose to refer to an Endodontist who is a specialist in Root Canals. The patient may be required to continue with antibiotic coverage after the procedure, but most often, pain medication is not necessary after a root canal is completed.

Fear of pain as well as concerns about how much a root canal procedure would cost are the primary deterrent to seeking earlier treatment.  Through CareCredit,  a qualified patient can avail of healthcare financing and make monthly interest free payments or low interest minimum payments for extended payment plans. The choice to save the tooth rather than to pull the tooth is better decided upon when financial concerns are handled properly.

Keep Those Teeth Healthy!
Remember that preventing the problem is always better than needing a solution! Healthy teeth don’t need root canals, so keep brushing twice a day and flossing daily and cut back on sugary drinks so that your teeth will stay healthy!

We love our patients! Thank you for choosing our practice.

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