Root Canals (Endodontics)
Root canals are one of the more common dental procedures that are performed across the United States of America. A root canal involves removing infected pulp and nerves followed by a cleaning and sealing of the infected tooth. At Dental Partners of Boston, we want to ensure that our patients are familiar with this procedure and when it might be necessary.
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What is a Root Canal?
Endodontic treatment, also known as a root canal, is a procedure used to saves and repair a badly infected or decayed tooth. The need for a root canal usually stems from infected or inflamed tooth pulp. The nerve and pulp of a tooth can become irritated as a result of cracks, chips, or other trauma to the tooth. If this occurs, it is important to treat it as it can lead to an abscessed tooth. An infection can also cause bone loss around the root’s tip as well as swelling to other areas.
Root canal treatments are very common. In fact, every year millions of teeth are saved thanks to this procedure. The process can relieve pain to restore the function and appearance of the affected tooth. While you may have concerns after possibly hearing scary stories from others in previous generations, modern root canals can be completed in a single visit. We can also use sedation dentistry to ease your anxiety.
The use of root canal treatments can restore a natural appearance, normal bite, and efficient chewing while also protecting the other teeth from damage caused as a consequence of the original problem. Best of all, it is a treatment type that removes the need for removing the tooth and using a prosthetic or false tooth. Root canals can be used on multiple teeth, although each tooth requires its own treatment. As long as the patient follows a positive dental hygiene routine following the treatment, the benefits can last for many years.
I have been a patient of DPB for more than 10 years, and I’ve always received the most professional service I could ask for. I have trusted them with my periodontal issues and thanks to them, I am a healthy patient who can’t be more satisfied with their excellent expertise.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
In order to determine if a root canal is necessary, the multi-specialty team of dentists at Dental Partners of Boston will do a thorough examination. During that appointment, we will be able to determine if it is necessary or not. Here are a few of the signs that may signal a root canal is necessary:
- Tooth pain caused by chewing or the application of pressure
- Increased sensitivity to heat and cold
- Tooth discoloration
- Swelling in the surrounding gums
It is important to understand that in some cases, there may be no obvious symptoms. It is vital to receive regular check-ups in case of an infection which you might not notice on your own. Root canal treatments can be used to save teeth that are affected by infection, inflammation, or an abscess.
When root canal treatments are deemed essential (or the most suitable solution), it’s imperative that you take quick action as leaving the issue untreated can allow the damage to escalate while also causing damage to the surrounding teeth. The pain and discomfort will continue to worsen until the issue is fixed.
A healthy smile can be a great asset.
A smile also has other day-to-day benefits.
The Benefits of Root Canals
Root canal treatments aren’t only crucial for preventing further damage. Their impact on your daily life can be hugely influential. Some of the biggest rewards include;
- Removing the pain will allow you to enjoy life without distractions
- You will have a happier and friendlier appearance
- Communicating without pain will be possible
- You can eat in a normal manner, removing social anxiety
- Remove the need for pain relief medication
What Does a Root Canal Procedure Involve?
First, a patient must have x-rays taken in order to see what the infection looks like. From there, the patient will be numbed through a local anesthesia. Throughout the procedure, the dentist uses a rubber dam to keep the area around the tooth dry. Once an access hole is drilled into the tooth, the dentist can begin removing debris and decayed nerve tissue. Once it is all removed, the tooth is flushed out, filled, cleaned, and sealed.
The tooth’s pulp is found underneath the enamel and dentin layer, and can be completely flushed out and removed without fear of losing the tooth. This is because a fully developed tooth continues to gain nourishment via the surrounding tissues. After the pulp is removed, the material used to fill the gap is a polymer prepared from latex from the percha tree while a special sealing cement is used to plug the hole and prevent bacteria or other debris from penetrating into the tooth.
Most treatments are completed in 1-2 appointments, with the first being used to assess the situation and make the necessary preparations to provide a personalized treatment built around the individual circumstances, extending to the overall oral health of the patient as well as the tooth itself. The second appointment is where the drilling, cleaning, filling, and sealing process occur.
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Why Choose An Endodontist?
Root canals can be completed by a general dentist, but finding a reliable endodontist here in Boston is the best solution by far. Endodontists are specialists that have undergone at least two years of extra training that focuses solely on the concept of diagnosing pain and working with root canal treatments. Their specialized knowledge, understanding of treatments, and precision ensure that they are the best experts to restore your oral health and appearance.
The average endodontist can complete over 100 root canals per month, and that experience is a telling feature for producing the safest and smoothest procedures with the most reliable results. In addition to the many direct benefits that this can bring throughout the treatment, it provides you with an added sense of confidence. This peace of mind can make all the difference before and during the appointment.
Dental Partners of Boston’s endodontists team consists of highly skilled and experienced experts in their field, focusing on modern treatments that can be completed quickly and with minimal discomfort. Most importantly, the stunning outcomes can restore a natural look and function, giving you all the more reason to smile. Patients can also get straight back to their daily routines without the need for rest and recuperation time.
Root Canal Aftercare
While there is no need for long-term rest, it’s imperative that you follow the right aftercare plans to keep your tooth or teeth in the best condition. Because the tooth has been saved, it is possible to use the same daily hygiene strategies that are used prior to the treatment. Brushing twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash are all highly advised. If anything, the removal of the infected pulp allows you to complete these tasks without pain or discomfort.
After restoring a healthy smile through root canal treatments, you may want to embrace cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening too. This is another possibility that is offered by Dental Partners of Boston, and is something that can be discussed with our experts before or after the root canal procedures. Either way, we can fix your smile to improve your quality of lie with immediate and lasting results.
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Root canals are an important treatment option since infected tooth nerves can cause a lot of pain in the patient if left untreated. If you have any questions about this procedure, please schedule an appointment to talk with one of our Endodontists who will be happy to answer any questions you have about your specific case.