Root canal treatment can make all the difference between losing a tooth and saving it. It is a complex treatment, as it involves removing infected matter from the roots of your tooth and then sealing it.
Our specialist at L/A Endodontics has many years of experience, and many qualifications in this field, together with an excellent success rate, which means you can relax and feel safe in the knowledge that you are in the best possible hands.
If you have been experiencing severe tooth pain, it is possible that you may require root canal treatment. If your tooth has become damaged or cracked, you have tooth decay, large fillings, or have recently had a trauma to the tooth, the chance of needing a root canal procedure increases, as these scenarios all leave your tooth open to infection.
When is a root canal required?
Root canal treatment (or endodontics) is required when there is an infection or severe inflammation deep within your tooth. This arises from bacteria from decay, cracks, and trauma to your tooth. You may not experience any pain or discomfort during the early stages of a problem. However, if your tooth changes color or a blister forms on your gum tissue, that is a sign that your tooth nerve is in danger of dying or has died. If left untreated, this kind of problem can not only be very painful but can lead to a tooth abscess or even tooth loss.
Serious toothache when eating, or when you put pressure on the tooth. Does it hurt when you bite down hard?
Excessively sensitive teeth. Does the sensitive pain linger after the initial contact with hot or cold foods or drinks?
Darkening of your tooth. Has your tooth changed colour? This may be a sign of the nerve dying.
A small bump on the gum, close to the painful tooth.
Tender or swollen gums around the tooth.
The visible part of your tooth above the gum line is called the ‘crown'. Below the gum, fixing the tooth to the jaw is the ‘root’ of your tooth. The root canal system is a network that fills a central hollow area inside the tooth and down to the roots. Root canals are filled with loose connective tissue called ‘dental pulp,’ and they are responsible for nourishing and hydrating the tooth and reacting to hot and cold.
When an infection takes hold, this pulp becomes inflamed, which is why it may be painful to eat or drink. Eventually, a bacterial infection will cause the pulp to die. It is essential to see your dentist if you are experiencing a toothache, as the infection will not go away on its own.
Root canal treatment removes bacteria from the tooth and then sealing the tooth. An expert clinician always carries out endodontic treatment, and an anesthetic is used to keep you comfortable throughout the process.
When you first come into L/A Endodontics, we will take an x-ray to assess the status of the infection. Then local anesthesia is administered to the area. A rubber material called a ‘rubber dam’ is placed around the tooth to keep it dry and accessible throughout the procedure. Once you are fully anesthetized, your dentist will use specially designed instruments to remove the infected tissue. Once it is cleaned, the canals are sealed with a rubber-like material and sealer and then finished with a temporary filling.
On occasion, the root canal procedure may need to be completed in 2 visits. This may be necessary if there is a significant infection, inflammation or if you have severe symptoms. When this happens, the tooth requires more time to settle down and will be soaking with a solution that helps kill more bacteria to aid your body to get a jump on the healing process.
Once your root canal procedure is finished, you will need to see your dentist to restore the tooth. Sometimes a crown is necessary after the tooth has been sealed.
Root canal treatment can be avoided by practicing good dental care. Regular visits to your dentist for check ups mean that your dentist is in a good position to pick up on any problems you may not have noticed. They will check any current fillings or crowns for damage or cracks. By treating issues in the early stages you avoid infections and further complications that would ultimately lead to endodontic treatment.
Tooth decay is one of the common reasons for root canal infections. You can keep tooth decay at bay by brushing and flossing regularly, chewing sugar-free gum between meals and reducing the amount of fizzy drinks and sugar in your diet.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact L/A Endodontics on (207) 330-2330 today to see if you require root canal treatment.
The following are some indications for the root canal treatment.