Complete Family Dentistry Blog - Waukesha , WI
Posts for tag: root canal
You might have a few questions should you find out you need a root canal for a tooth infected with advanced decay. Most will be about what you should expect before, during and after a procedure.
But first, let's deal with a couple of your obvious concerns right upfront:
- No, contrary to your Uncle Bill, it won't be painful (if the infected tooth is throbbing, though, the procedure will relieve your pain);
- Yes, based on outcomes for millions of treated teeth over several decades, the odds are high the procedure will save your tooth.
As to other questions you might have, here's a basic 411 concerning your upcoming root canal procedure.
The "Why." Many consider tooth decay to be mainly a cavity forming in the outer enamel and dentin layers of a tooth. But tooth decay can destroy tooth structure as it advances through to the pulp, the heart of a tooth. The resulting infection will also spread into the root canals to eventually infect the roots and supporting bone. A root canal treatment removes the decay and stops the advancing infection in its tracks.
The "How." There are a number of variations on the procedure, but they all follow this basic process: After thoroughly numbing the tooth and surrounding tissues, we drill a hole into the tooth to access the pulp chamber and the root canals. We then remove all infected tissue through this access and disinfect the tooth's interior spaces. We then fill these spaces with a rubber-like filling to prevent future infection.
The "After." Once we've completed filling, we seal the access hole. Sometime later, we'll crown the tooth to provide further protection against infection and add support to the tooth. In the meantime, you may have a few days of discomfort, which is usually manageable with mild pain-killers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
A lot of root canals can be performed by a general dentist, but more complicated cases may require an endodontist. In either scenario, a root canal could give your infected tooth another chance at life that it wouldn't otherwise have.
If you would like more information on root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment.”
Although the idea of getting a root canal can be nerve-wracking, it's important to understand that these common dental procedures are nothing to fear. At Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, WI, root canals are a routine part of our daily schedule. Our dental team - Drs. Joel Jahimiak, Cathleen Raz, and Kendra Loch - can explain why you might need a root canal and how you can tell that one may be necessary.
What is the purpose of a root canal?
If decay breaches the hard outer layers of a tooth, the inner tissues (known as the pulp) can become infected. When this happens, your Waukesha dentist will essentially "clean out" the inside of the tooth to remove all the damaged tissues, including the nerves that extend into the roots of the teeth. These tissues are then replaced by a rubber filling to keep the now-hollow tooth stable. The ultimate goal of any root canal is to prevent the need for an extraction.
How do I know if I may need a root canal?
There are some telltale signs that can indicate that your tooth is in need of a root canal. The most common sign is pain radiating from the affected tooth, particularly while chewing or brushing. This can alert your Waukesha dentist to the presence of decay that has allowed bacteria to enter the inside of the tooth. This infection may cause the gums to swell or a small, pimple-like bump to form nearby. Many people also experience hot or cold sensitivity; if drinking coffee or eating ice cream produces a lingering, painful sensation, you definitely need to make an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as you can.
Contact Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, WI, for an evaluation or to ask any questions about root canals today!
When decay spreads to the tooth’s inner pulp, a root canal treatment may be necessary to save it. It’s a common procedure: after removing all tissue from the pulp, the pulp chamber and root canals are filled with a special filling. The tooth is then sealed and a crown installed to protect the tooth from re-infection and/or fracture, possibly extending the tooth’s life for many years.
Sometimes, however, the tooth doesn’t respond and heal as expected: the number, size and shape of the patient’s root canals may have complicated the procedure; there may have been a delay before installing the final crown or restoration or the restoration didn’t seal the tooth as it should have, both occurrences giving rise to re-infection. It’s also possible for a second, separate occurrence of decay or injury to the tooth or crown to undo the effects of successful treatment.
It may be necessary in these cases to conduct a second root canal treatment, one that may be more complicated or challenging than the first one. For one thing, if the tooth has been covered by a crown or other restorative materials, these will most likely need to be removed beforehand. In cases where the root canal network and anatomy are challenging, it may require the expertise of an endodontist, a dental specialist in root canal treatments. Using advanced techniques with microscopic equipment, an endodontist can locate and fill unusually narrow or blocked root canals.
Because of these and other possible complications, a root canal retreatment may be more costly than a first-time procedure. Additionally, if you have dental insurance, your particular benefit package may or may not cover the full cost or impose limitations on repeated procedures within a certain length of time. The alternative to retreatment, though, is the removal of the tooth and replacement with a dental implant, bridge or partial denture with their own set of costs and considerations.
The complications and costs of a repeated procedure, though, may be well worth it, if it results in a longer life for the tooth. Preserving your natural tooth is in most cases the most desired outcome for maintaining a healthy mouth.
If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment.”
Which would you rather have — the flu or a root canal procedure? Nearly 80 percent of people recently surveyed by the American Association of Endodontists wisely chose the root canal. If this takes you by surprise, then let us bring you up to date on root canal treatment today. It’s nothing like the experience that once made it the butt of jokes and a benchmark against which other “undesirable” experiences were measured.
The term “root canal” actually has two meanings. It is part of the pulp-filled chamber at the center of every tooth containing nerves and blood vessels that keeps teeth vital (alive). It’s also the endodontic (endoÂ = inside; dont = tooth) procedure that treats inflammation and infection in this tissue. Common causes of pulp problems are traumatic damage (for example a crack, chip, or root fracture), deep decay, or gum disease.
The first sign of a problem is typically pain — ranging from acute and intense pangs when biting down, to lingering discomfort after consuming hot or cold foods, to a chronic dull ache and pressure, or tenderness and swelling in nearby gums. The primary pain may abate as the nerves in the pulp die, but the infection will continue, compromising the affected tooth, jeopardizing the health of the surrounding tissues, and often triggering secondary pain.
Pain-Relieving, Tooth-Saving Treatment
Endodontic treatment, by contrast, is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. The tooth and surrounding area are numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure begins. In order to access the diseased pulp, a small opening is made in the biting surface of the tooth. Tiny instruments are used to remove the pulp, clean and disinfect the root canal(s) and pulp chamber, and prepare the empty tooth interior to receive a biocompatible filling material to prevent bacteria from returning. A permanent crown may be placed over the tooth at that time, or a second visit may be needed. A crown (cap) is important to the tooth's long-term strength and functionality.
For a day or two following treatment you may experience temporary sensitivity, which often responds to an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen. Occasionally, prescription medications, including antibiotics, may be needed.
All in all, doesn’t saving a tooth sound easier and more constructive than coming down with the flu?
If you would like more information about root canal treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide To Root Canal Treatment.”
Sometimes the suggestion of "If you ignore something, it'll go away" is good advice to heed. When it comes to dealing with a toothache, however, this approach isn't advised by dental professionals, including the dentists at Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Many of our patients aren't thrilled to learn they need a root canal to treat their toothaches; this dental procedure has a long-standing stigma of being painful. Dr. Karen Jahamiak, Dr. Joel Jahamiak, and Dr. Cathleen Raz, your Waukesha dentists, want to dispel this rumor about root canals with the following information:
What is a root canal?
First, it's helpful to understand what exactly a root canal does for your dental health. Also called endodontic therapy, root canals are designed to clear away infection by removing the damaged inner tissues of a tooth. As the infection progresses, it can travel into the roots of the teeth, where the nerve endings are located. By clearing out these tissues, the nerves are no longer affected. However, this leaves the rest of the tooth vulnerable to breakage, so your Waukesha dentist completes the root canal by placing a strong rubber material inside the tooth and sealing it off with a porcelain crown.
Aren't root canals painful?
Like many other dental procedures, there used to be quite a bit of discomfort associated with treatments because of the lack of anesthesia and sophisticated equipment. Today, dental procedures, including root canals from your Waukesha dentist, are typically no more uncomfortable than having blood drawn thanks to a variety of sedatives, anesthetics and pain relievers. Prior to your root canal, and your dentist at Complete Family Dentistry can determine what regimen will best suit your needs.
If you're experiencing ongoing pain with your teeth, don't wait any longer. Contact Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, Wisconsin and learn more about how a root canal can fix your problem!