Posts for tag: root canal
"Debit or credit?" "Buy or rent?" "Paper or plastic?" Decisions, decisions. It's great to have more than one good option, but it can also provoke a lot of thought in making the right choice. Here's another decision you may one day have to face: "Save my tooth or replace it?"
It's hard to pass up replacing a tooth causing you misery, especially when the alternative is a functional and attractive dental implant. But before you do, consider this important message the American Association of Endodontists relay during Save Your Tooth Month in May: Before you part with a tooth, consider saving it as the best option for your oral health.
Even an implant, the closest dental prosthetic we now have to a real tooth, doesn't have all the advantages of the original. That's because your teeth, gums and supporting bone all make up an integrated oral system: Each component supports the other in dental function, and they all work together to fight disease.
Now, there are situations where a tooth is simply beyond help, and thus replacing it with an implant is the better course of action. But if a tooth isn't quite to that point, making the effort to preserve it is worth it for your long-term health.
A typical tooth in peril is one with advanced tooth decay. Decay begins when acid softens tooth enamel and creates a cavity. At this stage, we can often fill it with a tooth-colored filling. But if it isn't caught early, the decay can advance into the tooth's interior pulp, well below the enamel and dentin layers.
This is where things get dicey. As decay infects the pulp, it can move on through the root canals to infect the underlying bone. If this happens, you're well on your way to losing the tooth. But even if the pulp and root canals have become infected, we may still be able to save the tooth with root canal therapy.
Here's how it works: We first drill a tiny access hole into the infected tooth. Using special instruments, we remove all of the infected tissue from within the pulp chamber and root canals. After a bit of canal reshaping, we fill the now empty spaces with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. After it sets, it protects the tooth from any more infection.
Contrary to what you might think, root canals aren't painful, as your tooth and the surrounding tissue are completely anesthetized. In fact, if your tooth has been hurting, a root canal will stop the pain. Better yet, it could save a tooth that would otherwise be lost—a satisfying outcome to a wise decision.
If you would like more information about tooth decay treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”
What your dentists in Seymour want you to know.
If you have a tooth that hurts, you may be wondering what to do. The truth is you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible. You might need a simple filling, or you might need a root canal. Only your dentist will know for sure. There are a few signs and symptoms you may need a root canal. Dr. Matthew Pierce and Dr. Lane Severe at Jackson County Dental in Seymour, IN, want to share the facts about root canals and why you might need one.
Root canals are nothing to fear. In fact, a root canal is the best way to eliminate dental pain without removing a tooth. You might need a root canal if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Pain that increases when you consume hot or cold foods or beverages
- Pain that increases after dental treatment
- Stabbing or throbbing pain when you bite down or chew foods
- Pain that radiates into other areas including your face and jaws
It’s important to know that you may not feel any symptoms at all. Teeth can die naturally with little or no symptoms. You may notice a few signs like these:
- A tooth darkening or graying compared to the teeth next to it
- A red or white bump appearing next to a tooth root
- Bleeding or drainage coming out of your gums near a tooth root
There are many reasons why you might need a root canal, including if you have deep dental decay which has reached the pulp of your tooth. The pulp is the area where the nerves and blood supply to the tooth are located. If the nerves or blood supply are impaired, the tooth can begin to die. The pulp can also be damaged by an accident or injury to your mouth or jaws.
To find out more about root canal treatment, please visit the Endodontics page on the Jackson County Dental website by clicking on this link: http://www.jacksoncountydental.com/library/7780/Endodontics.html
Only your dentist will know for sure if you need a root canal. Don’t let tooth pain remain untreated. The longer you wait, the more damage to your tooth! Help is just a phone call away from Dr. Pierce and Dr. Severe at Jackson County Dental in Seymour, IN, so call today!
Root canal treatments are an essential part of dental care — countless teeth with deep decay would be lost each year without it. Now, this traditional dental care procedure is advancing to a new level of precision through lasers.
Root canal treatments have a simple goal: access a tooth's infected pulp and root canals, clean out the infected tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and canals with a special filling. Once filled, the access is sealed and a porcelain crown later placed for additional protection against re-infection.
In the traditional procedure, we perform these steps manually with a dental drill and hand instruments. We may also need to remove a good portion of tooth structure, both healthy and infected tissue. A laser, on the other hand, is a highly focused beam of light with the ability to interact with healthy and infected tissues differently: destroying infected tissue while having no effect on nearby healthy tissue. The end result: we may be able to remove less healthy tissue with lasers than with the conventional procedure.
Lasers are also helpful with softening and precisely molding the filling material within each canal's particular shape. And, early reports seem to indicate a higher degree of comfort for patients (less drill noise and need for anesthesia), less bleeding and faster recovery times than the conventional approach.
But as a tool for root canal treatments, lasers do have a couple of disadvantages. While light travels in a straight line, root canals are rarely straight — conventional instruments with curved designs usually accommodate odd canal shapes better than a laser. Lasers can also raise temperatures within a tooth that can damage healthy tissue, both within the pulp and outward into the dentin.
Still, lasers for root canal treatments appear promising with some dentists using a combination of lasers and manual techniques to garner benefits from both approaches. While you won't see lasers replacing the traditional root canal treatment anytime soon, the future looks bright for more efficient ways to treat deep tooth decay.