Alternatives to Root Canal
Root canal therapy(endodontics) is needed when the nerve and blood supply(pulp) to the tooth is diseased or damaged. If an infected pulp is left untreated an abscess will eventually form which will show up on an x-ray as a dark spot at the base of the root. This is actually bone loss in the jaw. When a tooth becomes infected you can experience pain, swelling and even total tooth loss unless treated. An infection of this type can also have an impact on your overall health. In order to save the tooth the pulp is removed and replaced with a special dental material which will help to restore the tooth to it’s original function and rid the tooth of infection.
Did you know…
the most common myths about root canals? The first myth is that root canal treatment causes pain, when in actuality it relieves it! The use of local anesthetics and advancements in modern dentistry have made root canals as comfortable as getting a filling.
Another myth is that removing the tooth is a good alternative to root canal treatment. Saving your tooth is the best option and the most cost effective. Extracting the tooth and replacing it with a bridge or implant will often times cost more than a root canal and crown.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need a root canal?
If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms you may need a root canal.
- Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when eating or drinking hot liquids and food
- Moderate to severe pain when chewing
- Sensitivity to tapping or pressure to the tooth
- Toothache that wakes you up
- A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
- Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another
You also may be a candidate for a root canal if you have a deep cavity that extends into the nerve, a trauma to a tooth, or a crack in the tooth that extends into the pulp. At times you may experience no symptoms or discomfort , although an abscess may be revealed on an x-ray.
For more information about root canals at our Riverside office and whether they are right for you, schedule a dental exam and consultation at your earliest convenience.
What should I expect during my root canal treatment?
Dr. Appelbaum will begin the root canal process by anesthetizing the tooth so you will have no discomfort during the procedure. He will open an access point through the top of the tooth, or biting surface of the tooth. The infected pulp tissue within the tooth will be removed, cleaned, and shaped in preparation for the filling material. The canals are then sealed with an inert material called gutta percha and a temporary restoration is placed into the access point. You will need to return to our office approximately two weeks after the procedure for placement of a permanent restoration.
A crown(cap) is the best option to strengthen a tooth that has had a root canal since the tooth will become brittle and more susceptible to fracture once the pulp is removed. Minimally, the tooth will need to be restored with a silver or white restoration.
What type of post-treatment care is required after a root canal?
It is normal to experience some lingering discomfort for up to two weeks after having root canal treatment. Normal brushing and flossing habits can be resumed immediately after treatment, although you should refrain from chewing on the treated side until a permanent restoration is placed.