Root Canals

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When bacteria enter the root of the tooth, it can be cause for a root canal. This means that the bacteria has spread past the enamel and/or dentin layer of the tooth in has spread an infection into the root of the tooth or pulp. This can be painful if left untreated and can cause a whole host of other issues if not dealt with quickly. Only a dental professional can determine if you are in need of a root canal. Some symptoms of an infected tooth are: inflamed gums, soreness in the tooth when pressure is applied, extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, bad breath, pus or painful throbbing. These symptoms should not be ignored. Sometimes, no symptoms are present at all, but further action should be taken in order to prevent possible tooth loss.

Root Canal Procedure

If your dentist has told you that you need a root canal, it can be an anxiety inducing experience. Once thought to be very involved and quite painful, new dental advancements have proven this to be untrue today. Root canals are very common procedures and they can be done in only one office visit with very little pain. Your dentist will begin by numbing the affected area so that you remain comfortable. He or she will then create a small opening into dentin of the tooth to better access the nerve. The decayed material will be removed and the tooth will be filled and sealed off. This is permanent. It protects the integrity of the tooth, while removing the source of pain and inflammation. Because the outer portion of your tooth will remain natural, it is still possible to get a cavity in your newly sealed tooth. As always, maintain proper brushing and flossing habits and keep up with six month dental cleanings and checkups.

Sometimes a large portion of the natural tooth is decayed along with the root. There is not enough tooth left to preserve, so your dentist may suggest a dental crown. The same steps are taken to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and seal the root, but your tooth will also be filed down in order to have a porcelain replica attached. This new tooth is then cemented onto the tooth that has been filed down. It is not possible for this new porcelain tooth to get a cavity, as it is not a natural tooth. It’s important to clean the surrounding teeth from your new crown, as they can rub healthy teeth and cause wear.

To discuss root canal or dental crown treatments, call Northwest Dental! We will gladly assist you in setting up an appointment, whether it is for a routine cleaning, to a full set of dentures. Our friendly staff will make you feel at home. Call us today!