When a cavity or fracture breaches the pulp of a tooth, bacteria eventually invade and cause an infection. Left untreated, a dental abscess can form and spread to adjacent teeth. Root canal therapy is necessary to address this problem and ultimately save the tooth from extraction.
Our doctors perform root canal therapy at Georgia Microendodontics in Marietta, GA. We utilize the latest in dental technology for optimal success and comfort.
Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
When treating an infected tooth, root canal therapy is the only viable option other than extraction. Doing nothing can be detrimental to your health, as infection will spread if left untreated. As dental professionals, we prefer to save natural teeth whenever possible. Root canal therapy preserves the healthy exterior of a tooth, so that chewing function is still maintained.
Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy is no more uncomfortable than receiving a dental filling. In fact, because infection is removed at the source, many patients actually feel relief following their procedure, especially if they had developed substantial pain from an abscess.
Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection
When a tooth infection develops, individuals may experience a wide range of different symptoms. Common warning signs include:
- Dental pain that can become severe while chewing
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Swelling around the jaw, neck, or face
- Tooth darkening
Occasionally, patients may not experience any symptoms. That’s why routine dental checkups are so important. During these visits, your dentist can detect any problems early on and treat them before they worsen.
Root Canal Treatment Process
If our doctors determine that you need root canal therapy, the affected area will be numbed with local anesthesia. While this is usually sufficient to keep you comfortable, nitrous oxide and oral sedation are also available to keep you relaxed during treatment.
After you are numb, your dentist isolates the area to keep the tooth dry and protect it from saliva and bacteria. Next, a small opening is created in your tooth. Small endodontic instruments are then used to clean out the root canals and all internal tooth surfaces. During this step, the infected nerves, vessels, and tissues are removed, and the surfaces are disinfected. Next, the pulp chamber and root canals are filled with a biocompatible dental material. Finally, the tooth is sealed with a dental filling to help reduce the risk of reinfection. Your doctor may also restore the tooth with a dental crown for an added layer of protection and strength.
Healing and Recovery
Following root canal treatment, most patients can resume normal activities in a day or two. Tenderness and inflammation are common temporary side effects and can be mitigated with prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers. In most cases, recovery takes less than one week.
Our team will provide you with a comprehensive list of postoperative instructions. Be sure to follow these guidelines to foster a swift and successful recovery.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, you could have an infection. To prevent the problem from worsening, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors at Georgia Microendodontics. Prompt treatment can reduce your risk for future problems and preserve your oral health. We can design a personalized treatment plan to meet your unique needs. Contact us today.