There was a time when the words “You need a root canal treatment” would make even brave patients want to run from the chair. The time to be afraid of a root canal treatment has passed! Not only have tremendous strides been made with anesthetics, but we also have better tools and procedures to deal with an infected tooth. Since root canal treatments concern the inner portions of the tooth, they are sometimes referred to as “endodontic” treatments. Don’t let a false fear make you put off a consultation!
Signs That A Tooth Needs Attention
Sometimes a tooth will begin demanding your attention. Perhaps you notice it has changed color, or become more sensitive to heat and cold. Sometimes a problem tooth sits quietly, until a dental professional notices an issue during a regular exam. While many teeth announce they are having a problem, some people do not have discomfort or discoloration to indicate an underlying problem. If any tooth is causing you concern, bring it to out attention so we can have a look and consult with you treatment.
What Happens in a Root Canal Treatment?
If the root of the tooth (the root canal) is infected, treating the problem may save the tooth. We may take X-rays to see the size and shape of the root canals, and look at the surrounding bone. We will prepare your mouth with anesthtic, and take precautions to prevent saliva from getting into our work area. An opening is made in the tooth, allowing us to clean out infection and flush away particles. In some cases we can then fill the damaged areas and repair the opening in the same appointment. In other cases, we may need to apply or prescribe medication, add a temporary filling, and complete the root canal therapy at a second appointment.
After the Root Canal Treatment is Completed
Depending on the extent of the infection, your may be strong enough to stand on its own, or we may need to place a crown or other restoration to strengthen and protect the tooth. We may ask you to chew gently on that side for a few days, and the tooth will probably be more sensitive to heat and cold for a few days, as any inflammation subsides. In a short time, you should be able to resume your normal routine and activities. You will want continue to give all your teeth careful preventative care: twice daily brushing, daily flossing and regular checkups with a dental professional.
ABOUT YOUR TUCSON, AZ, GENERAL DENTIST
Dirk A. Newman, DDS, offers a full range of modern dental care services, including general dentistry, smile enhancement, smile restoration, and implant dentistry. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a visit by calling our office at 520-296-5439. Located in Tucson, AZ, we proudly serve patients from Tucson and all surrounding communities.