Explaining Root Canal Treatment

A toothache can make everything seem terrible. Your mouth hurts, your head aches, you can’t eat what you want, you can’t sleep comfortably – in general, you feel awful! Your tooth pain may be a result of decay that has caused an infection in your tooth pulp, calling for root canal therapy.

What does that mean exactly? When the inside of your tooth or the pulp becomes infected, it causes the tooth to deteriorate and cause pain and sensitivity. Action is needed to eliminate the infection and protect the tooth from worse damage. Root canal treatment is the best solution because the damaged pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and restored.

To accomplish a root canal procedure, your dentist will drill a small hole in your tooth to access the pulp and expertly remove it. Once the area is cleaned and disinfected, your tooth will be filled with a special material and sealed for protection. Finally, a dental crown is usually placed on top to complete the root canal procedure. You are left with a fully repaired and protected tooth.

What benefits does root canal treatment provide?

  • Pain is eliminated with the repair of your tooth and removal of infection.
  • Your ability to chew and bite foods will return to normal.
  • You will no longer experience tooth sensitivity to hot or cold items.
  • The damaged tooth will be restored so that it looks natural in your smile.
  • Your other teeth won’t have excessive wear to make up for the damaged tooth.

With the advances in dentistry making root canal therapy faster and less painful, your procedure may be completed in as little as one trip to the dentist. Once the process is complete, you can expect your fully restored tooth to last as long as the rest of your teeth.

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Root canal treatment

Should an Endodontist Perform Your Root Canal Treatment?

An endodontist is a dentist who has undergone additional training specializing in saving teeth through treatments that involve the pulp and root of teeth. If you have been diagnosed by your family dentist with an infected tooth that requires root canal therapy, it would be logical to seek treatment by a dental professional who is specifically trained in root canal procedures. To find a qualified endodontist for your root canal treatment, consider the following:

  • Ask for a referral from your family dentist to an accredited diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. You may also consider asking friends and family members who have undergone root canal therapy for recommendations of endodontists.
  • Inquire about the extent of the endodontist’s education and training as well as the number of root canal procedures they have performed. You will want to look for a doctor with an established practice and extensive track record of root canal experience.
  • Find out what type of equipment the doctor utilizes to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent advances in endodontic therapy and dental technology.
  • Ask about the sedation and pain-relief options the endodontist provides for root canal patients.
  • Evaluate the endodontist and staff to determine if they make you feel comfortable, welcome, and are able and available to answer your questions.

Root canal treatment can be a stress-free and painless experience when performed by the right dental professional. Taking the time and effort to identify a qualified endodontist will help to ensure the ease and success of your procedure, and soon have you back on the road to a healthy smile.

 

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How to Prevent the Need For Root Canal Treatment

The desire for a beautiful, healthy, natural smile is universal. Dental procedures such as root canal treatments aren’t something people aspire to have, and there are things you can do personally that can reduce your risk of having a root canal procedure.

Prevention is the best step you can take to avoid root canal therapy, and it all begins with you at home. If you didn’t grow up with good oral hygiene habits, now is the time to develop them. This simple step can lead directly to good oral health. Be sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, following each meal if possible, and absolutely before sleeping. If you don’t brush your teeth before bedtime, you’re providing a robust breeding ground for bacteria to grow and degrade your teeth while you’re sleeping. Floss daily to reach the places between teeth and beneath the gum line that brushing can’t reach.

Fluoride in your toothpaste and in mouthwash can keep your tooth enamel strong and durable. Never give fluoridated toothpastes to children under the age of two years and avoid fluoridated mouthwash until the child is more than six years old.

Maintaining a proper diet ensures that your body is receiving all of the nutrients it needs for health, both orally and elsewhere in the body. Chewing crunchy foods like raw vegetables and hard fruits can help keep your teeth bright and clean, scraping away debris while you chew.

If you are a smoker, you should stop immediately. Not only is it a huge factor in your oral health, but also for your overall health. Smoking contributes directly to lung disease, cancer and heart disease, as well as other health issues. Your dentist or doctor can give you excellent advice about quitting.

Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding sugared drinks. Rinse your mouth after consuming soda, coffee, tea or a sports drink.

Be sure to see your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings, and keep your risk of a root canal treatment low.


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Signs You May Need Root Canal Treatment

Having tooth pain or problems can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences possible. It is hard to ignore because it makes your whole quality of life worse. When infection or decay reaches the inner parts of your tooth, it can cause many miserable symptoms. Often the key is getting root canal treatment to save your tooth and alleviate your symptoms. Here are some warning signs that indicate you might need this type of treatment.

Severe pain:
Although not always present, severe pain sometimes occurs with a tooth that needs root canal therapy. It may be sharp, intense pain or a dull ache that won’t subside. If you experience tooth pain that is severe or lasts for several days, see your dentist for an evaluation. If root canal treatment is necessary, any pain you may have will likely disappear after a successful procedure.

Sensitivity to hot or cold:
Discomfort when consuming hot or cold items is another sign of a problem. Mild sensitivity is usually not a big deal, but actual pain when your tooth hits these temperatures may mean the tooth is in an advanced stage of trouble.

Gum tenderness or inflammation:
Swelling or tenderness is often associated with infection, although it doesn’t always mean infection is present. Your dentist can determine the seriousness of the issues and whether root canal treatment is advised. Watch for tenderness, swelling, or even a lump in the affected area.

Darkened tooth:
Discoloration is a sign that the nerves of a tooth are damaged. The tooth may become gray, black or dark yellow. Tooth discoloration is also related to trauma, damaged fillings or severe decay, so visiting your dentist for a checkup is recommended.

Gum boils:
If lesions similar to a pimple form in the gum tissues, it is called a gum boil. It is usually an accumulation of pus, which can be linked to infection. The boil may be larger or smaller at certain times, depending on the activity of the infection in your mouth. It will feel tender and can cause swelling in the area, and you may notice a bad taste in your mouth.

If you have symptoms such as these, see your dentist to learn if root canal treatment is the solution.

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Do You Need a Root Canal Procedure?

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist (a dentist whose specialty is the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and trauma to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth) about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.

 

If you live in the Clinton NJ area and you need a root canal, contact our dental office today.

 

Restoring Your Oral Health Through Root Canal Therapy

A toothache can make your life miserable. It may involve terrible tooth pain as well as headaches, sleeplessness, and difficulty eating. A trip to the dentist’s office is a must if you want relief. An examination might reveal that you need root canal treatment to save your tooth and eliminate your symptoms.

Severe tooth decay, a faulty crown, repeated tooth procedures or trauma are common causes of tooth damage. These issues can also lead to infection of your tooth’s pulp, which is on the inside of your tooth. Also called endodontic therapy, root canal treatment focuses on getting rid of the damaged tooth pulp. If infection is present, it is also removed. The root canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then the area is filled with a special material called gutta-percha. Finally, the tooth is typically restored with a dental crown to provide maximum protection from future damage.

Some of the benefits you can expect from root canal treatment include chewing with normal biting force and sensation, maintaining natural tooth appearance, protecting other teeth from excessive wear, and avoiding a troublesome gap in the smile. In as little as one or two appointments, these benefits can be achieved without a great deal of discomfort. Innovations in technology have made the experience of root canal treatment usually no more painful or difficult than simply getting a dental filling. Once root canal treatment is complete, the tooth can last a lifetime with regular checkups and proper oral hygiene.


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Problems that Can Result from Postponing Root Canal Therapy

If root canal treatment has been recommended for you, you’re probably a little nervous. Maybe you’re a LOT nervous, but if you’re thinking about putting off your treatment, don’t. If you need root canal therapy, the underlying conditions that necessitate it will not go away left untreated. In fact, they’ll just get worse and worse over time, causing you more pain and discomfort and potentially leading to more serious complications.

If you don’t treat the infection in your tooth, it will spread. Beginning at your tooth’s roots, it will travel to your jawbone and eventually to your healthy teeth. Your entire jawbone can be put at risk. By treating your infection promptly with root canal therapy, your mouth can be free of infection and you will begin the process of healing.

Serious diseases like heart disease and diabetes have been directly linked to gum disease. During pregnancy, many problems including low birth weight and premature birth can occur as a direct result of infection and bacteria in the mouth. Several types of cancers have all been shown to have a link to poor overall oral health. The mouth is truly the pathway for everything that goes into the body, and if it’s providing a steady stream of bacteria and infection to be spread throughout your body, it’s extremely problematic.

Don’t worry about pain following your procedure. Root canal therapies are meant to relieve pain, not cause it. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel after your mouth is infection-free.

If you ignore your infected tooth for long enough, it may either fall out on its own or need to be extracted. Missing teeth come with a long list of oral issues, including difficulties with bite alignment and speech only corrected with some kind of dental restoration.

Don’t wait to have your root canal treatment. Don’t open yourself up to the myriad of consequences that could result from postponing treatment.


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Root Canal Therapy Myths

Have you been told that you may need a root canal treatment? Are you worried because of things you’ve heard in the media about how “awful” a root canal is? Don’t worry about what you’ve heard; endodontic therapy isn’t at all what you’d think. Let’s debunk some myths!

  • Myth #1: Root canal treatment is very painful. This isn’t true! In fact, a root canal treatment is performed specifically to relieve a patient’s pain, not to cause more. After a root canal treatment, you might feel some tenderness, but the pain you felt when the damaged tissue and infection was still inside the tooth will be completely gone. Once the swelling from the procedure has gone down, you will be able to use your new tooth exactly the way you could use your natural tooth when it was completely healthy.
  • Myth #2: Root canal therapy or other endodontic work can lead to disease elsewhere in the body. Another falsehood! Root canal treatments don’t spread disease to the rest of the body, rather, they remove infected tissue and bacteria from the body, preventing the affected tooth from becoming re-infected.
  • Myth #3: Extraction is better than root canal treatment. Extraction is not preferred to root canal treatment! Whenever possible, it’s preferred to keep your natural tooth. Your natural tooth’s roots stimulate and preserve the bone of your jaw, as well as providing adequate support to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants or dental bridges can be problematic, both in function and in dietary restrictions. In fact, an extraction can lead to several prolonged appointments to perform replacement procedures, treatments that are far more involved than a root canal treatment.

Endodontic treatment is an extremely common dental procedure that can provide durable, long-lasting restorations that will function as your natural tooth did. If you believe you may need a root canal treatment, talk to your endodontist or dentist today to see how this successfully proven treatment can help you and your smile needs.


We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

Dealing With Pain Following Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatments are specifically designed to relieve the tooth pain associated with an infected tooth root. Patients come in with pain, and often leave the procedure with less discomfort than before. However, if you’ve recently had a root canal treatment on one or more of your teeth, you might be experiencing discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to take care of it.

Are your gums sore, tender or swollen surrounding the affected tooth? This is likely the result of the tiny metal clips that affix a rubber dam around the tooth, protecting it and protecting your mouth. The clips are attached along the gum line, and can leave tiny bruises or sometimes small cuts in the soft gum tissue. This pain should alleviate within two days of the treatment.

Is the tooth itself sore? This is a common occurrence and is typically the result of an inflammation of the mouth tissues that encase the tooth root. The tools used by the endodontist to perform the procedure can irritate the tissues.

Both of these types of pain can be dealt with by several over-the-counter analgesics. The ones that are most recommended to treat dental pain are those that possess anti-inflammatory agents: naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or aspirin, etc. If you are also taking narcotics prescribed by your dentist, do not take any further medication, over-the-counter or prescription, until you have checked with your dentist. Dangerous reactions can occur.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics, do not stop until you have completed each recommended dose. This ensures that your tooth remains free of infection and can heal thoroughly.

Ask your endodontist if you have other concerns about treating your post-root canal treatment pain.


We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

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Saving Your Tooth with Root Canal Treatment

Millions of root canal treatments are performed every year, and it is an effective and safe way to save a damaged tooth. Unlike its reputation over the years, modern dentistry allows this procedure to be practically painless and to provide relief from symptoms right away.

Anatomy
The first thing to understand is the anatomy of the tooth. Under the hard enamel on the outside of the tooth and the dentin below that, the interior of a tooth contains pulp. It houses the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that all nourish the tooth. This allows it to grow properly and contributes to good oral health. After the tooth is fully developed, the tooth can get its nourishment from surrounding tissues and the pulp is not as necessary.

Necessity
The pulp can become infected, inflamed, or damaged by problems like decay, injury, repeated dental procedures, or a bad crown. If the damaged pulp is not treated, an abscess can develop or severe pain can result. Often, root canal treatment is the only way to save the tooth instead of having to extract it. Dentists advise that saving a tooth is almost always a better option, providing the most natural appearance, efficient function, and protection of oral health.

Procedure
Many patients report that root canal treatment is not much different for them than having a regular filling done. X-rays are taken and a local anesthetic is administered. Once numb, a dental dam is placed to protect the area during the procedure. Then the pulp is removed, the area is thoroughly cleaned, and then it is filled with special material for this purpose. The tooth is sealed for protection, and finally a crown is placed on top to protect the tooth. Most patients are able to return to normal activities immediately following treatment, and the procedure is permanent in most cases.

If you need a root canal dentist in Clinton NJ, contact our office today.