Save your natural teeth with root canal therapy near Montrose, CA
Your natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but sometimes problems occur. If you have an issue with one of your teeth that reaches the center of the tooth, you may benefit from root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is a common dental procedure because it can save a natural tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted, preventing the need for costly restorations such as implants. At Bright Smiles Dental Studio near the Montrose, CA area, we use root canal therapy to eliminate infection and inflammation, only removing teeth as a last resort.
What is a root canal and when is it needed?
At the center of every tooth, below the enamel and dentin, is an area called the pulp chamber. The pulp contains the nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. If an infection reaches this area it can often cause immense pain. While the pain can be intermittent and go away at times, without treatment, the infection will continue to develop, which could eventually lead to an abscess or health issues in other areas of the body. Some of the most common symptoms of this type of infection are swelling, visible injury, sensitivity to temperature, and tooth pain. At this point, the only options are root canal or extraction.
When an infection is left untreated and a tooth must be extracted, it can lead to many undesirable side effects, including the shifting or migrating of healthy teeth, loss of bone structure, and the need for future dental implants or bridges.
Chances are, you’ve heard the phrase, “I’d rather have a root canal, than…” a comedic reference that insinuates the procedure is truly miserable. The truth is, root canal procedures are not all that different from a traditional filling and do not cause extreme pain or complications. While a tooth infection can be extremely painful, the root canal procedure eliminates that pain.
What causes root canal problems?
One of the biggest causes of infection is deep tooth decay that has been left untreated. Without treatment, cavities become breeding grounds for bacteria that eventually travel to the center of the tooth, infecting the pulp tissue.
Trauma or injury to the tooth that causes a crack can also allow bacteria to pass through to the pulp tissue.
Another potential cause the need for root canal treatment is extensive dental work. In certain cases, multiple fillings on the same tooth can eventually lead to damage of the pulp tissue.
Root canal procedure
Root canals are a routine and effective dental procedure that can usually be completed in a single visit. The process starts with the use of a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area. For most patients, the numbing process is the worst part and the rest of the procedure is simple.
The dentist will then make a small opening in the infected tooth to allow access into the root canals and pulp chamber. Specialized tools are used to remove the damaged tissue and then to clean and disinfect the empty canals. Next, a biocompatible filling material is inserted into the canals and the entire tooth is sealed to prevent bacteria from entering and causing future infections. The entire procedure is completed by placing a dental crown over the tooth to strengthen it and prevent future breakage.
After the procedure, it’s normal to feel sensitivity or tenderness for a few days. Patients can use over the counter pain relievers to help with the discomfort. It’s important not to bite or chew any hard objects on the treated tooth for several days following treatment.
If you are in or around the Montrose, CA area and are experiencing severe pain or pressure in a tooth, notice an increase in gum sensitivity or visible swelling, it’s important to call our office for an evaluation. Scheduling this evaluation as soon as possible allows us the best chance at saving the tooth via root canal therapy, eliminating the pain, and preventing the need for tooth extraction. For more information on root canal therapy or to discuss your symptoms, please call Bright Smiles Dental Studio today at (818) 290-8788 .