So your dentist told you that you needed a root canal, but you’ve decided that since your tooth isn’t hurting, you’re just going to put your treatment off. It may not seem like a very big deal right now, but this common misconception by dental patients is something that can cause them severe pain, costly treatment, and extensive dental visits later on.
Even though your tooth isn’t hurting you, a tooth in need of a root canal is already compromised and more susceptible to fractures, bacterial infections, and can easily reach the point where it is no longer clinically treatable. This is because weakened enamel does not withstand normal biting or grinding functions, and fractures easily. Cavities or fractures that continue to spread infections deeper into the nerve may affect other areas in the face, including the brain, causing hospitalization. Just because the tooth doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean it’s ok to wait to fix it. The tooth may have nerve damage that prevents typical toothache symptoms from appearing until they are very severe. Painful toothaches often appear at the most inconvenient times, making it difficult for you to get access to professional dental care.
If you’re not sure whether the prescribed treatment is what you really need, it’s ok to get a second opinion. The best thing to do is get your treatment completed as quickly as possible, ensuring that a large portion of healthy enamel is preserved. Most endodontic therapy appointments take approximately one and a half hours, and are just as comfortable as having a filling done. After your root canal is completed, you’ll want to be sure to have a permanent crown placed over the treated tooth.
Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli
Root canals are very routine dental procedures that simply require a limited, additional amount of time due to their complexity involving the nerve of the tooth. The treatments are necessary when a tooth has been severely damaged, or had decay reach far enough into the tooth until it comes into proximity with the nerve.
When you first arrive for a root canal procedure, you’ll be anesthetized the same way you would be for a filling. Some people also request nitrous oxide to help them relax. Once the area is completely numb, your dentist will begin removing any enamel that has decay, the same as if you were just having a filling. After the preparation has extended into the nerve chamber, the damaged nerve tissue will be removed from inside of the canal. The canals of the roots will then be thoroughly cleaned in order to prevent a recurrent infection. An x-ray may be taken to determine when the very end of the root canal has been met by the dentist’s equipment. Because teeth have anywhere from 1 to 3 roots on average, root canals can vary in length. Curves or bends in the roots may make some treatments more tedious and require additional treatment time.
After the nerve is removed, a filling material is placed into the nerve canal and chamber of the tooth, to seal it off completely. The crown of the tooth is then prepared and an impression is taken so that a permanent crown can be made for the tooth. Putting a crown over the tooth helps protect the integrity of the enamel, because the tooth is no longer living, and it can become brittle.
Other than some discomfort from opening or your injection site, root canal treatments are typically just as comfortable as other types of treatment. Let your dentist know what needs you may have during your treatment so that you can remain as comfortable as possible.
Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli
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