Root Canals (Endodontics)
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure to save and repair a badly infected or decayed tooth. It involves removing the pulp and nerves of the tooth followed by cleaning and sealing the tooth.
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Why Do I Need A Root Canal?
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 in other areas.
Are Root Canals Common?
Root canals are very common. In fact, every year millions of teeth are saved thanks to this procedure. The process can relieve pain and restore the function and appearance of the affected tooth. Root canals are completed in a single visit and use a numbing agent to keep you comfortable. Your DPB dentist can also use sedation dentistry to ease your anxiety.
Our dentists in Boston perform multiple root canals in one sitting if needed. As long as a patient follows a positive dental hygiene routine after treatment, the benefits last for many years or a lifetime.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
In order to determine if a root canal is necessary, our dentists at Dental Partners of Boston do a thorough examination. Here are a few signs that 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 important to receive regular check-ups in case of an infection that may otherwise go unnoticed. A root canal can save teeth infected, inflamed, or that have an abscess.
When a root canal becomes essential (or the most suitable solution), it’s imperative to take action quickly. Leaving the issue untreated allows further damage to surrounding teeth. The pain and discomfort will continue to worsen until the tooth is repaired.
A healthy smile can be a great asset.
A smile also has other day-to-day benefits.
The Benefits of Root Canals
Root canals prevent further damage to surrounding bone and tissues. Some of the biggest rewards include:
- No more pain
- Removal of infection that can damage other teeth
- Keeping your natural teeth
- Preventing further costs from tooth replacement
- Eat and drink normally
What Does a Root Canal Procedure Involve?
The first step is to get x-rays to see what the infection looks like from within. Before the procedure, the patient is numbed with a local anesthetic. Throughout the procedure, the dentist uses a rubber dam that surrounds the tooth to keep the area dry. An access hole is drilled into the tooth and the dentist begins removing tooth pulp, decay, and nerves. Afterward, the tooth is flushed out, filled, cleaned, and sealed.
The tooth’s pulp is found underneath the enamel and dentin layer. The pulp can be completely removed without losing the tooth when it is fully developed. After the dentist removes the pulp, the dentist fills the tooth with a polymer prepared from natural latex from the percha tree. The dentist then uses special sealing cement to plug the hole and prevent bacteria or food from penetrating into the tooth.
Most treatments are completed in 1-2 appointments. The first is to assess the situation and make the necessary preparations for treatment. The second appointment is for the procedure itself.
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Root Canal Aftercare
While there is no need for long-term rest, it’s important to follow the right aftercare to keep your tooth or teeth in the best condition. Lightly brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss, and use mouthwash.
The color of your tooth or teeth may darken slightly after a root canal. You may want to receive cosmetic treatment such as teeth whitening. You can discuss this with our experts before or after the root canal procedures. Either way, we can fix your smile to improve your quality of life with immediate and lasting results.
Why Choose An Endodontist?
A general dentist can perform root canals, but finding a reliable endodontist here in Boston is the best solution. 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 to restore your oral health and appearance.
The average endodontist completes over 100 root canals per month. That experience is vital for the safest and smoothest procedures with the most reliable results. It also provides you with an added sense of confidence. This peace of mind can make all the difference before and during the appointment.
The endodontists at Dental Partners of Boston consist of highly skilled and experienced experts in their field. They focus on modern treatments to provide the best results.
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If you have any questions about root canals, please schedule an appointment to talk with one of our Endodontists.