Throbbing pain, drainage, jaw swelling. These symptoms and others tell your dentist you need root canal therapy. At Monroeville Dental in Monroeville, OH, and serving Norwalk, OH, Dr. George Trask uses this predictable treatment to revive and strengthen teeth marred by decay, infection, injury, and more. Read on to learn all about it.
What is a root canal?
It's a part of tooth anatomy. Each and every tooth has a central interior chamber and up to four slender canals--one for each root. The chamber and the root canals contain pulp composed of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue--components of your tooth which may become inflamed when decay, infection, or other adverse conditions strike.
Fortunately, dentists know how to extract inflamed pulp, seal a sickly tooth and cap it, preserving it for many years. This procedure is called root canal therapy, or endodontics. A wonderful alternative to tooth extraction, root canal therapy is a comfortable, two-visit procedure performed by your dentist in his Monroeville office, serving Norwalk, OH.
Contrary to what many people think, root canal therapy doesn't hurt but instead, relieves the pain and pressure of dental abscess and injury. Additionally, endodontic procedures are very common. In fact, the American Association of Endodontists says that dentists perform about 15 million of them every year in the United States--and successfully, too. Most teeth restored in this way last for decades.
Signs you may need a root canal
Tooth pain is abnormal. So, if you have a toothache or extreme dental sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure, come to Monroeville Dental for an exam and X-rays.
Other signs that your tooth may be in trouble are:
- Loss of a filling
- Cracked tooth enamel
- Dark discoloration
- A pimple and/or pus at the gum line
- Reddened gums
- Constant bad breath, or halitosis
- Bad-tasting drainage
X-ray imaging may show loss of bone structure around the tips of the roots. Amazingly, some teeth are sick but show no symptoms whatsoever. That's why preventive dental care--both at home in the form of brushing and flossing and in the office with check-ups and cleanings every six months--are vital to your oral health.
If Dr. Trask determines you need a root canal, he'll numb your tooth and install a protective dam around it. Next, he'll drill a hole into the first root canal and extract the diseased pulp with small metal files. He'll disinfect the canal and seal it with an elastic material called gutta-percha.
If necessary, each root canal will be treated and sealed in the same way, and a temporary cap protects the tooth as it heals. After a week, you'll return to Monroeville Dental for installation of your permanent crown. As with any restored tooth, floss daily and brush twice a day to keep the site plaque-free and healthy.
Dr. Trask and his team will take good care of you and your tooth during your root canal. If you are experiencing symptoms or have questions about root canals or another procedure at Monroeville Dental in Monroeville, OH, and serving Norwalk, OH, give us a call at (419) 516-0258.