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Root Canal Therapy

woman with tooth painFew things have as much power to incite panic in dental patients as the words “root canal.” Perhaps you have had a bad experience with a root canal treatment in the past, or maybe you have heard horror stories from others.

But the truth is that few dental procedures are as misunderstood as root canal therapy. It is actually a treatment that enables your dentist to save an infected tooth that might otherwise have to be extracted.

Thanks to advances in dental techniques, the majority of root canal procedures these days are not only efficient but they are also comfortable. If you think you have an infection and might need a root canal, schedule an exam with Dr. Paul Perez or Dr. Elizabeth Crapanzano of Avenue Family Dentistry.

Why Might I Need Root Canal Treatment?

If you have an infection in the soft interior portion of your tooth, you may need a root canal. When a tooth is infected, it can be painful. It is likely the pain of the infection itself that has caused all of the fear surrounding root canals. The treatment is quite routine and comparable to a filling.

If your tooth is infected, the infection will not go away on its own. In fact, it may get worse and spread to your other teeth or bone. If you don’t receive treatment for the infected tooth, you might lose it. In almost every case, preserving a natural tooth is better than extracting the tooth and having to replace it. Not only is root canal treatment less invasive, it costs less than a tooth extraction and a replacement such as a dental implant or bridge.

There are a number of common symptoms that are associated with an infection that might need root canal treatment, including the following:

  • Severe pain and pressure around the affected tooth
  • Swelling in the gum surrounding the affected tooth
  • Sensitivity to touch and temperature change
  • A pimple-like lesion on the gums near the affected area
  • A tooth that has become discolored

root canalHow Are Root Canals Performed?

Before treatment begins, Dr. Perez or Dr. Crapanzano will ensure your mouth is numb and that you are comfortable. Dr. Perez or Dr. Crapanzano will start the procedure by creating an access point in the infected tooth. This will enable them to clean out the infection and sterilize the area. After the infection has been cleared from your tooth, we will seal it with a temporary restoration and monitor healing.

Root Canal Treatment Aftercare

Dr. Perez or Dr. Crapanzano will likely recommend a crown to stabilize your tooth, which will protect the tooth from further trauma. Since root canal therapy makes it necessary to remove the nerve from the tooth, it can become brittle. The crown provides support so that the tooth does not break.

Some sensitivity in the area where the root canal was performed is normal after the procedure. But your immune system will soon take over, alerting your body to the fact that the infection is gone and the inflammation will gradually dissipate.

Are You Experiencing Tooth Pain?

Dental pain is a sign that something is wrong! If you are experiencing tooth pain or gum swelling, please don’t hesitate to call Avenue Family Dentistry. We will work hard to restore your health and comfort quickly.