Although root canals suffer from a bad reputation, modern dental techniques and advances have made the procedure easier and much more comfortable than ever before. Root canal therapy can make the difference between saving the tooth and having to have it extracted.
What is a Root Canal?
The root canal itself is actually part of the structure of your tooth. It houses the pulp and the nerve of your tooth. Occasionally, the root canal of your tooth can become infected to the point where it is not only painful, but is also putting the rest of your mouth at risk. This can happen for several reasons including trauma to the tooth, damage caused by decay, or decay that is occurring behind a filling. When this happens, root canal therapy becomes necessary.
During root canal therapy, we remove the root canal of the tooth along with the infected material, the dead nerve, and any other debris. We then use specially designed instruments to clean out the interior of the tooth and make sure that no infection remains. In some cases, we will also place antibiotics into the cavity as an extra precaution against further infection.
Once the tooth is cleaned out, we will fill the hole in the tooth with filling material. At AllDent Dental Center, we use tooth-colored filling, which will prevent the tooth from becoming discolored or otherwise noticeable. One of the other benefits of composite filling material is that it bonds to the inside of your tooth and makes it stronger from the inside. This is especially useful in the case of root canal therapy since the structure of the tooth is likely to become weaker. If necessary, we will also place a crown over the tooth for additional protection.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Without examining your tooth, it’s difficult to determine from symptoms alone whether a root canal is needed; however, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should call our office immediately for an appointment:
- Serious pain, especially when chewing or applying other pressure
- Swelling in the gum or soft tissues
- A persistent pimple on the gum
- Sensitivity to heat or cold that persists
- Darkening or other discoloration of your tooth
Dr. Chung will give you a full dental examination and may also take x-rays to find the cause of your symptoms. Once a diagnosis is made, he will go over your options with you and help you make the decision of which treatment to pursue. If a root canal is warranted, it is best to move quickly to relieve your pain and sensitivity and prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth.
Root canal therapy has a very high success rate, and the repaired tooth is likely to last you for the rest of your life. Despite its bad reputation, a root canal is typically no worse than having a cavity repaired. If you have any fears or concerns about your root canal, please let us know so that we can address them. Your comfort and happiness are very important to us. Call our office with any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chung.