Endodontics: relieving tooth pain with root canal therapy
Most patients hear the term “root canal” and think “ouch.” Instead, we would like the patients of Hello Family Dental to understand that root canal therapy is a restorative dentistry treatment used to save or restore a tooth that has been damaged due to decay. While we don’t expect the popularity of root canals to improve anytime soon, if you understand the purpose and importance of root canal, this knowledge can help you appreciate the need for this procedure in many situations.
When do I need a root canal?
Each tooth has a space within its root called the root canal. In that canal is the dental pulp that is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissue. When tooth decay becomes extreme or dental trauma is endured, the dental pulp can be damaged. The side effect: an infection that, if left untreated, can spread to the bone around your tooth, resulting in tooth loss.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, see your Johns Creek dentist immediately for treatment. You may need a root canal procedure:
- Severe tooth pain when chewing
- Pain when applying any pressure to teeth
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold
- Tooth discoloration
- Gum swelling and tenderness
While many people will try to wait out tooth pain or discomfort in the hopes that it will just go away on its own, this is rarely the outcome in an oral health situation. Failure to get the dental treatment you need immediately can lead to serious oral health issues, including abscessed teeth and tooth loss. A root canal is very common in situations where a patient has dragged their feet about dental care.
Can I avoid a root canal?
If you want to avoid even the prospect of a root canal, it is essential that you take good care of your teeth at home with proper brushing and flossing and see your dentist every six months for a dental exam and teeth cleaning. Even an ounce of tooth pain or discomfort should be brought to the attention of your dentist so that the problem can be addressed before it gets out of hand. X-rays are taken regularly of each patient to see what’s going on within teeth and to rule out any decay to avoid the prospect of dental problems or root canal later.
If you do develop a dental issue and require a repair, a root canal is not the only restorative dentistry solution for extreme tooth pain. Your dentist at Hello Family Dental in Suwanee will evaluate the condition of the problem tooth first to determine if a root canal is needed. He will explain your diagnosis and treatment plan options before going forward with any procedures, invasive, or otherwise. For some patients, tooth extraction and dental implant repair are far more attractive options than undergoing a root canal.
Just remember, if you choose to have a painful tooth pulled and do not replace that missing tooth with an implant or dental bridge and crowns, the space left behind can compromise the surrounding teeth and cause them to shift. This can result in an irregular bite and even a sunken face. Keeping your original teeth by undergoing a root canal and getting a porcelain crown are choices that help patients keep their natural smiles, without pain.
How is a root canal done?
The unfamiliar can be frightening, especially when you’re talking about a dental procedure. We like our Hello Family Dental patients in Suwanee near Johns Creek and Duluth to know exactly what to expect when they sit in the dentist’s chair – knowledge is half the battle in easing anxious patients and confirming that the procedure ahead goes smoothly.
In an endodontic procedure like a root canal, the infected nerve and pulp are removed from the center of the affected tooth. The area is carefully and meticulously cleaned so that debris is eliminated and the area is disinfected and, most importantly, the pain and discomfort are eliminated. The tooth root is then sealed with a specialized filler to prevent further infection and reduce tooth sensitivity. This procedure can typically be completed in a matter of hours.
In many root canal cases, the tooth itself, and not just the tooth root, is compromised and often needs to be repaired with a porcelain crown. Since many patients prefer to save their natural teeth, a crown is customized to match and blend in with your natural teeth and bonded to the tooth in question. A tooth that is capped with a crown protects the tooth that has undergone the endodontic procedure and allows the tooth to look, feel, and function normally.
Sedation dentistry during a root canal
If you still have anxiety about undergoing a root canal, sedation dentistry is an option for many patients. Dr. Mitul Patel and the staff at Hello Family Dental are committed to patient-centric care before, during, and after root canals or any dental procedure. We offer a variety of options for pain relief and comfort so that you can get the oral health repairs you need with as little difficulty as possible.
Contact our Suwanee dental office near Johns Creek today if you are experiencing any tooth pain. We are pleased to offer endodontics to residents of North Atlanta, including the communities of Suwanee, Duluth, Alpharetta, and Johns Creek.