More commonly known as a root canal, endodontics are a dental specialty of the study of and treatment of dental pulp. This sounds a bit confusing, but in reality, this is what goes into performing root canals. Root canals are used to repair and save teeth that are badly damaged or infected. This treatment prevents patients from needing their teeth pulled. This can save you from expensive restorative treatments and help you keep your natural teeth for the rest of your life! Learn more about endodontics and the role it plays with root canals at Chesterfield Family Dental.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure that removes the decayed pulp from the central part of your tooth. After this is extracted, our dentist then reshapes the canal and fills it with a composite filling. In most cases, we place a dental crown over the tooth for added protection. This procedure will save your tooth from needing to be extracted.
What is Dental Pulp?
Dental pulp is the soft area in the center of the tooth and it contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and the nerve. The root canal travels from the tip of the tooth root to the pulp chamber. Although the tooth’s nerve does not play a large role in the in the health of the tooth, its only role is sensory, providing you the sensation of cold or heat. When you have a root canal, this is removed and you no longer will feel these sensations. This doesn’t affect your life or the function of your tooth.
When Does the Dental Pulp Need to Be Removed? AKA, When Do I Need a Root Canal?
When a cavity goes untreated, it can lead to an infected tooth. When the pulp is damaged, it begins to break down and cause the bacteria to multiply in the chamber. This infected chamber will cause either an abscessed or infected tooth. An abscess will form pus-filled pockets at the end of your tooth root. When an abscess or tooth infection occur you can also experience swelling in your face, neck or head. You can also suffer bone loss near the tip of your root. Lastly, it can cause drainage problems outside of the root. This can result in a hole in your tooth or drainage that leads into your gums or from the cheek into the skin.
What Causes Pulp Damage?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to pulp damage. The first cause of pulp damage is from an infection from deep decay. This usually occurs from a cavity that is never treated. Next, it can be caused by multiple dental procedures on one tooth. This leads to large fillings that can cause problems. Pump damage can also be caused by a chip or crack in the tooth. Lastly, dental pulp damage can occur from trauma or damage to the face.
Symptoms That You Need a Root Canal
Some of the most common signs you may need a root canal include:
- Severe tooth pain when applying pressure or when chewing
- Severe sensitivity with heat or cold that persists after the cold or heat has been removed.
- Darkening or discoloration of your tooth
- Tenderness or swelling in nearby gums
- A recurring or a persistent pimple on your gums
The Root Canal Procedure
The procedure for your root canal isn’t too difficult. Dr. Buzbee will first take x-rays and evaluate your mouth to diagnose where the problems are. If he confirms that your tooth could benefit from a root canal instead of an extraction, we will schedule your root canal appointment. During this appointment, we will numb your mouth and provide you with any sedation dentistry if you need it. The numbing solution will ensure that you feel no pain during your treatment.
We will remove the pulp from your tooth, clean out and reshape your root canal, and then fill it with a biocompatible filling solution. We then provide you with a temporary crown to wear while your tooth heals. After it heals, we will have a dental crown made the same day in our office using the CEREC machine. Following your procedure, you will find that you no longer feel pain and your tooth is as good as healthy.
Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding root canal therapy, the first one being the procedure is painful. You should know that this is not true. Root canals are not painful, in fact, root canals actually take your pain away. This is one of the top benefits of root canal therapy. The other top benefit of root canal treatment is that it saves your tooth from needing an extraction. This is a large benefit! Nobody wants to lose their teeth and this treatment will help save you from losing yours. This is more cost-effective than receiving an extraction and paying for a restoration like a dental implant. Experience a healthier mouth without sacrificing your tooth.
What Should I Expect Following My Root Canal?
After your root canal, you might be in a small amount of pain. This can be treated with an over the counter pain medication. We also advise that you avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where you had the root canal procedure. This will help save you from any pain and allow your tooth time to heal. The pain and tenderness should disappear after a few days. Continue brushing and flossing your teeth as normal to ensure your mouth stays healthy. With over a 95% success rate, root canals are the right solution that can last you a lifetime.
Schedule Your Root Canal Today
If you are in need of a root canal in Springfield, give our endodontist specialist a call to schedule a consultation. We’re here to help restore your teeth back to health and help you stay pain-free. Give us a call or fill out our online form and we will be in touch with you soon.