When the nerve inside a tooth becomes inflamed or infected (which is often caused by deep decay, or a fracture) you’ll need a root canal to remove the bad tissue and save your tooth. For some Mesa, Arizona residents, being told that they need a root canal can be a scary thing. Some folks are fearful because they don’t know enough about what takes place during this procedure so they expect the worst. However, the truth is that root canal therapy isn’t as bad as most people make it out to be. Familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of the procedure will hopefully help put you at ease.
Signs That You Need A Root Canal
If you have any of the following symptoms, then you should visit our Mesa dentist because you may need a root canal:
- Severe, spontaneous pain that lingers and wakes you up at night
- Sensitivity or pain when something hot touched your tooth
- Pain when you chew, especially pain that lingers
- The gum tissue around your tooth is inflamed
- A visible pimple-like fistula on the gum
- You have a bad taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- There is puss in your mouth
Some people won’t even experience any of the above signs and be told that they need a root canal. This is because the symptoms of a dental abscess aren’t always very obvious, especially in its early stages. Usually, a radiograph can confirm or deny if an infection is present and that root canal therapy is needed.
The Root Canal Treatment Process
The following steps will take place during your root canal treatment:
- The first step of your root canal treatment will be to administer a local anesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain while your tooth is being worked on. It’s common to still feel pressure during the procedure but if you ever experience sharp pain, let us know so that we can numb the area further.
- After the tooth is numb, we’ll place a rubber sheet known as a dental dam around your tooth to isolate it from the rest of your mouth.
- We’ll make a small opening in the tooth to gain access to the inner pulp chamber, which is a cluster of nerves. We’ll clean out the pulp as well as the individual roots, which all have nerve canals running through them. Your tooth can have anywhere from one to four nerve canals, depending on the kind of tooth it is.
- After the nerve tissue is thoroughly removed, we’ll flush and dry the canals then fill the hollow tubes with a sealant material that will prevent bacteria from re-entering. This completes your root canal treatment.
- Sometimes, to help give your tooth more support, a special post will be placed within one or more canal. Then our dentist will remove any decay that the tooth may have before filling it with a type of composite material known as a buildup.
- After the root canal, post, and buildup are complete, we recommend that you get a crown put on the tooth. A crown is a cover that’s placed over weak teeth and is intended to protect them and prevent further trauma like breaking.
Preparing your tooth for a crown can be done immediately and doing so will require us to reduce the thickness of your tooth to make room for the crown. Once your tooth is prepped we’ll make you a temporary crown to wear while we wait for the dental laboratory to fabricate your permanent restoration.
Alternative Root Canal Therapy Options
When you have an infected tooth, antibiotic medications can help relieve your discomfort and can reduce the severity of the infection. However, it’s important to know that no amount of medication will cure an infected tooth. The only way to completely get rid of the abscess and save your tooth is to remove the nerve tissue from within it and seal it off completely.
There is an alternative to root canal therapy, but it would mean completely removing your tooth by performing an extraction. Though some people do choose to have their teeth removed, others don’t have a choice because there isn’t enough intact tooth structure left to save it. These folks may choose to replace their tooth with a dental implant.
Root Canal Therapy in Mesa, AZ
If you suspect you may need root canal therapy, then we encourage you to visit Eastport dental for an endodontic evaluation. Don’t wait until it’s too late, give us a call today.