Saving a Damaged Tooth
So It Works Like New
A tooth that’s aching, throbbing, or hurts when you chew could be a sign that you require root canal therapy. Some of our patients are concerned about root canal therapy, but for most people, it’s not any more painful than filling a cavity.
During root canal therapy, the infected tooth is treated and restored to full function, eliminating the need for extraction.
Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy
The deepest layer of your tooth is called the pulp. It houses blood vessels and other soft tissue that nurture your tooth. The pulp can become infected if a tooth gets cracked or damaged due to physical trauma. Infection can also result from a cavity that remains untreated for too long.
If the pulp becomes infected, you’re likely to experience a great deal of pain. Without root canal treatment, the infection can spread, resulting in swelling and bone loss along with more pain. Infection can also spread beyond the mouth, creating a serious situation that can cause hospitalization.
Signs you may need a root canal include:
- A severe toothache that worsens when chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages that doesn’t go away
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swollen and tender gums
The Root Canal Process
Your dentist will use our digital imaging equipment to determine the extent of the damage to your tooth. This process is fast and painless.
If root canal therapy is the best treatment for you, your dentist will begin the procedure by giving you a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain. Then she’ll create a tiny hole to remove the infected pulp.
Once she’s eliminated the damaged pulp, the empty chamber is filled with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha to prevent dangerous bacteria from entering the space and reinfecting the tooth. The final step is restoring the tooth with a natural-looking dental crown.
In particularly difficult cases, you may need to be referred to a specialist for treatment.
Though we do everything we can to save your tooth, sometimes extraction is the best option for your health. In these cases, we can restore the missing tooth with natural-looking dental implants or another type of restoration.
Root Canal Therapy FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Does root canal therapy hurt?
Though root canal therapy has a reputation for being painful, it usually isn’t. With the use of local anesthetic, the area around your tooth should be numb. Many people compare it to the feeling of having a tooth filled.
Should my tooth hurt a week after the procedure?
What is root canal retreatment?
Sometimes, a tooth becomes reinfected following root canal therapy. That means the tooth must be treated with root canal therapy again.
What is a hot tooth?
A hot tooth is an extremely painful infected tooth that doesn’t respond to the use of regular local anesthetic. In these cases, we’ll take the necessary precautions to provide your root canal therapy without pain, which may include antibiotics to reduce the infection prior to treatment.
How can you tell if a tooth is dead?
The most obvious sign of a dead tooth is discoloration. Your tooth may begin to turn yellow, brown, grey, or black. You may also have bad breath and a foul taste in your mouth.
Can root canal therapy cause headaches?
Root canal therapy doesn’t usually cause headaches, but if you experience a severe headache there could be an issue with your treatment. Call our office at (850) 878-5186 and we’ll fit you in for an appointment right away to examine your tooth.
How long does root canal therapy take?
Depending on the tooth, it can take 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Sometimes, a more severe case requires more than one appointment.
Root Canal Therapy
If you have any remaining questions about root canal therapy, call our office at (850) 878-5186 to learn more. We’ll be happy to address your concerns. And if you’re currently experiencing dental pain, we’ll arrange to see you right away.