Root Canals and Your Dental Health:
Dental care has come a long way since the old days. Teeth with infected pulp no longer have to be extracted. At Chesapeake Smiles Dental, we provide a root canal procedure that will keep you from losing a tooth. Root canals are simple dental procedures that remove infected, damaged, and painful nerves inside of a tooth. In many cases, a root canal treatment can often be finished in one office visit. At Chesapeake Smiles Dental, we can provide most root canal treatments in our office without a referral. Best of all, a root canal will preserve your tooth and your smile!
The purpose of a root canal:
When a tooth becomes damaged or develops severe cavities, it becomes susceptible to infection within the pulp tissue. When the pulp is infected, a toothache or abscess can occur. When left untreated, the infection can become very serious. The purpose of a root canal treatment is to remove the infected pulp and nerve tissue inside the tooth and prevent infection from spreading to other parts of the body.
Luckily, the presence of a tooth’s nerve is not crucial to the overall health and function of the tooth. The main role of the nerve is to send hot and cold sensations to the brain. After the nerve is removed during a root canal treatment, the tooth is still able to function normally on a day-to-day basis.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
A common misconception is that a tooth in need of a root canal is in constant pain. In reality, the tooth could either be painful or cause little to no pain at all. In addition to pain, other possible symptoms of a tooth infection can include pain while chewing, sensitivity to temperature, tooth discoloration, or swollen and tender gums. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a dentist should examine you immediately.
What is the Root Canal treatment process?
A root canal treatment at Chesapeake Smiles Dental takes place over the course of one to three visits. During these visits, the dentist will remove all of the damaged pulp tissue from inside the tooth. Once the pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned, the tooth is filled and sealed to prevent the infection from returning. After finishing the root canal, a tooth with large amounts of decay may need to have a crown placed in order to keep the tooth strong and safe from breaking under the pressure of normal biting and chewing.
Alternatives to Surgery
In cases when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected, the only alternative to root canal therapy is extraction. An extraction is when the entire tooth and roots are completely removed, leaving a space between the teeth. Once the tooth is extracted, the dentist can replace the missing tooth with a partial denture, bridge, or an implant. Even though tooth replacement technology has come a long way, there is no substitute for a patient’s own healthy, natural teeth.