Most people would rather do anything than have a root canal. Unfortunately, this procedure receives a bad rap. A root canal is generally performed to clean out an infected tooth and prevent future problems. Usually, patients feel better after root canal therapy.
Knowing the truth about root canals may help you feel less apprehensive if your dentist recommends this procedure.
- A root canal hurts.
Actually, the pain you feel is caused by the swelling and pressure in your tooth. When a tooth sustains severe trauma, the pulp, or soft nerve center, may die. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, disinfect the tooth, and seal off the inside. Most people only experience mild soreness afterwards, if they feel any discomfort at all.
- Root canal therapy takes many appointments.
Although this timing depends on the severity of the case, most root canals are completed in one to two appointments. Once your dentist finishes the root canal, you will probably need at least one more visit for restoration of the tooth, usually with an inlay, onlay, or crown.
- I only need a root canal if my tooth hurts.
Pain often lets you know you have a problem with a tooth, but if your tooth root dies you may have no symptoms. The dentist can perform tests to determine the health of a tooth, including temperature and percussion testing.
- The root canal won’t last.
Once the tooth is cleaned and sealed, you should have no further problems with the tooth. Sometimes the restoration of the tooth fails, which can causes the tooth to crack or break. This usually occurs if you wait too long to have a crown or adequate filling placed.
If you need a dentist in Baltimore contact us today
A toothache can make your life miserable. It may involve terrible tooth pain as well as headaches, sleeplessness, and difficulty eating. A trip to the dentist’s office is a must if you want relief. An examination might reveal that you need root canal treatment to save your tooth and eliminate your symptoms.
Severe tooth decay, a faulty crown, repeated tooth procedures or trauma are common causes of tooth damage. These issues can also lead to infection of your tooth’s pulp, which is on the inside of your tooth. Also called endodontic therapy, root canal treatment focuses on getting rid of the damaged tooth pulp. If infection is present, it is also removed. The root canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then the area is filled with a special material called gutta-percha. Finally, the tooth is typically restored with a dental crown to provide maximum protection from future damage.
Some of the benefits you can expect from root canal treatment include chewing with normal biting force and sensation, maintaining natural tooth appearance, protecting other teeth from excessive wear, and avoiding a troublesome gap in the smile. In as little as one or two appointments, these benefits can be achieved without a great deal of discomfort. Innovations in technology have made the experience of root canal treatment usually no more painful or difficult than simply getting a dental filling. Once root canal treatment is complete, the tooth can last a lifetime with regular checkups and proper oral hygiene.
We treat patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area
If you are dealing with ongoing tooth pain, you may be too fearful to go to the dentist to find out what’s going on. It’s important that you do, however, as you may need root canal therapy. Your dentist will need to evaluate you to see if that procedure is necessary, and will closely examine several factors: the signs the dentist can see personally, the results of any tests performed during your visit, and the symptoms you have been experiencing with the problematic tooth.
Your dentist may observe:
- A tooth that is discolored
- X-rays that reveal a tooth problem
- A fistulous tract, or persistent or recurring gum pimple
Additional testing done by your dentist:
- X-rays provide an extremely clear picture of the health of the tooth
- Thermal testing can evaluate sensitivity through a careful application of hot or cold temperatures
- Percussion testing evaluates pain response through gentle tapping
You may have been noticing:
- A broken or cracked tooth obviously decayed or damaged
- A discolored tooth, especially a grey tooth
- A “bubble” in your gums, like a pimple. It may or may not have ruptured, leaking pus that smells or tastes awful
- Pain that shoots out from one tooth to your jaw or ear, leading to earache symptoms
- Pain that prevents you from living your life without painkillers
- Pain, sensitivity or swelling on one certain tooth
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids that lingers and is very painful
In some cases, an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment has no symptoms at all that could be discerned by you. Only a dental professional can confirm the need to undergo root canal therapies. If you are experiencing pain that disrupts your life, talk to your dentist or endodontist immediately. Root canal treatments are designed to relieve the pain you’re experiencing now and to restore your tooth to full form and function. Don’t wait to get your life and smile back!
We treat patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area
An endodontist is a dentist who has undergone additional training specializing in saving teeth through treatments that involve the pulp and root of teeth. If you have been diagnosed by your family dentist with an infected tooth that requires root canal therapy, it would be logical to seek treatment by a dental professional who is specifically trained in root canal procedures. To find a qualified endodontist for your root canal treatment, consider the following:
- Ask for a referral from your family dentist to an accredited diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. You may also consider asking friends and family members who have undergone root canal therapy for recommendations of endodontists.
- Inquire about the extent of the endodontist’s education and training as well as the number of root canal procedures they have performed. You will want to look for a doctor with an established practice and extensive track record of root canal experience.
- Find out what type of equipment the doctor utilizes to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent advances in endodontic therapy and dental technology.
- Ask about the sedation and pain-relief options the endodontist provides for root canal patients.
- Evaluate the endodontist and staff to determine if they make you feel comfortable, welcome, and are able and available to answer your questions.
Root canal treatment can be a stress-free and painless experience when performed by the right dental professional. Taking the time and effort to identify a qualified endodontist will help to ensure the ease and success of your procedure, and soon have you back on the road to a healthy smile.
Root canal dentist in Baltimore
The desire for a beautiful, healthy, natural smile is universal. Dental procedures such as root canal treatments aren’t something people aspire to have, and there are things you can do personally that can reduce your risk of having a root canal procedure.
Prevention is the best step you can take to avoid root canal therapy, and it all begins with you at home. If you didn’t grow up with good oral hygiene habits, now is the time to develop them. This simple step can lead directly to good oral health. Be sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, following each meal if possible, and absolutely before sleeping. If you don’t brush your teeth before bedtime, you’re providing a robust breeding ground for bacteria to grow and degrade your teeth while you’re sleeping. Floss daily to reach the places between teeth and beneath the gum line that brushing can’t reach.
Fluoride in your toothpaste and in mouthwash can keep your tooth enamel strong and durable. Never give fluoridated toothpastes to children under the age of two years and avoid fluoridated mouthwash until the child is more than six years old.
Maintaining a proper diet ensures that your body is receiving all of the nutrients it needs for health, both orally and elsewhere in the body. Chewing crunchy foods like raw vegetables and hard fruits can help keep your teeth bright and clean, scraping away debris while you chew.
If you are a smoker, you should stop immediately. Not only is it a huge factor in your oral health, but also for your overall health. Smoking contributes directly to lung disease, cancer and heart disease, as well as other health issues. Your dentist or doctor can give you excellent advice about quitting.
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding sugared drinks. Rinse your mouth after consuming soda, coffee, tea or a sports drink.
Be sure to see your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings, and keep your risk of a root canal treatment low.
Our dental office is located in Baltimore
The goal of root canal therapy is to relieve pain, not cause it. The pain you experience before a root canal is the result of damage to the tissues in the tooth. Root canal therapy removes that damaged tissue, therefore relieving the discomfort you feel. If you are still experiencing tooth pain after undergoing a root canal procedure, it could be an indication of a problem with the treatment.
While mild discomfort is to be expected during the root canal healing process, if the pain continues or becomes more severe, it is likely an indication of a problem. There are several reasons for tooth pain after root canal treatment:
- The tooth has an extra canal that was not cleaned and filled, meaning there is an extra physical root.
- The tooth has a small, tight accessory canal that is difficult to locate on x-rays or hard to access with the necessary tools.
- The tooth is fractured due to the damage and weakened state caused by the original decay and the access cavity that is created to begin the root canal treatment.
- The root canal has become reinfected.
- The small files used by your dentist to clean out the pulp of the tooth sometimes break, resulting in a failed root canal treatment.
In the days immediately following root canal therapy, it is normal to experience some tenderness of the tooth or surrounding gum. This discomfort should be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers and should subside in a few days. If the pain does not ease in a few days or becomes more severe, contact your dental professional immediately to access your symptoms and determine if you are having root canal complications.
Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office