When a tooth becomes very sensitive and painful, that is one of the first signs that you should see a dentist for a thorough checkup and X-rays. Your dentist at Blue Ridge Dental Care in Raleigh, NC Dr. Ajamu Giscombe can repair and save that aching tooth with a treatment called root canal therapy. Learn when a root canal is necessary and what to expect at your appointment.
Root Canal Therapy
The outer covering of a healthy tooth is relatively strong and resilient, but over time it can become vulnerable to decay. When that happens, the only solution in many cases is root canal therapy. As the name suggests, the treatment targets the diseased and inflamed canals inside of the tooth. The procedure includes removal of bad nerve tissue, a complete cleansing of the inside of the tooth, then protecting the tooth with a crown. Root canal therapy is highly effective at allowing patients to keep their teeth and avoid dental extraction.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
Here are a few signs that you may need your Raleigh, NC dentist to perform a root canal treatment:
- Strong intense pain emanating from a tooth that causes headaches and jaw discomfort.
- Inability to eat or drink on one side of your mouth.
- Boils and other growths on the gumline near a tooth, which may indicate the presence of a dental abscess.
- Bad breath that persists after you thoroughly brush and rinse your teeth.
Root Canal Aftercare
After a root canal, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you won't have to deal with that toothache anymore. Avoid chewing on the newly repaired tooth for a few hour to give it time to heal. Contact your dentist if you have any concerns and schedule a follow-up appointment. Also, if you want to avoid root canals in the future, you have to make good oral hygiene a new habit.
Find Out if You Need This Treatment
Dr. Ajamu Giscombe heads up the dental team at Blue Ridge Dental Care in Raleigh, NC. He will check your X-rays and examine your tooth to see if you may need a root canal. Call his office at 919-781-3862 today to schedule a visit.
Which would you rather have — the flu or a root canal procedure? Nearly 80 percent of people recently surveyed by the American Association of Endodontists wisely chose the root canal. If this takes you by surprise, then let us bring you up to date on root canal treatment today. It’s nothing like the experience that once made it the butt of jokes and a benchmark against which other “undesirable” experiences were measured.
The term “root canal” actually has two meanings. It is part of the pulp-filled chamber at the center of every tooth containing nerves and blood vessels that keeps teeth vital (alive). It’s also the endodontic (endoÂ = inside; dont = tooth) procedure that treats inflammation and infection in this tissue. Common causes of pulp problems are traumatic damage (for example a crack, chip, or root fracture), deep decay, or gum disease.
The first sign of a problem is typically pain — ranging from acute and intense pangs when biting down, to lingering discomfort after consuming hot or cold foods, to a chronic dull ache and pressure, or tenderness and swelling in nearby gums. The primary pain may abate as the nerves in the pulp die, but the infection will continue, compromising the affected tooth, jeopardizing the health of the surrounding tissues, and often triggering secondary pain.
Pain-Relieving, Tooth-Saving Treatment
Endodontic treatment, by contrast, is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. The tooth and surrounding area are numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure begins. In order to access the diseased pulp, a small opening is made in the biting surface of the tooth. Tiny instruments are used to remove the pulp, clean and disinfect the root canal(s) and pulp chamber, and prepare the empty tooth interior to receive a biocompatible filling material to prevent bacteria from returning. A permanent crown may be placed over the tooth at that time, or a second visit may be needed. A crown (cap) is important to the tooth's long-term strength and functionality.
For a day or two following treatment you may experience temporary sensitivity, which often responds to an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen. Occasionally, prescription medications, including antibiotics, may be needed.
All in all, doesn’t saving a tooth sound easier and more constructive than coming down with the flu?
If you would like more information about root canal treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide To Root Canal Treatment.”