What happens when you develop a dental infection?
Our dental team provides root canals to treat infections that have been left unaddressed. It is best to fill tooth cavities before they become too large. Untreated cavities can lead to infection. This is where the pain comes from. Tooth decay occurs when harmful bacteria reaches the inner layers of dentin, whether via poor oral hygiene or damage to the tooth. The tooth cavity will continue to spread unless treated in a timely manner.
Pain when chewing could be a warning sign. You may notice a persistent toothache that doesn’t subside, or sensitivity/pain when eating or biting down. Swelling near the tooth, a poor tasting discharge, or fever could also be warning signs.
A root canal involves removing the infected tissue. With root canal therapy, we administer a local anesthetic before opening the tooth and removing the infected tissue. After the doctor cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth and the root canals, restorative material is then placed in the interior of the tooth. Without treatment, this issue could potentially lead to the tooth’s death, requiring extraction to prevent the spread of infection to surrounding teeth and into the jawbone itself.
We restore the tooth to complete the procedure. The final step involves placing a custom-made dental crown over the visible portion of the tooth.
A root canal can play an important role in the maintenance of the structure of your smile when saving a natural tooth. We will recommend a root canal when appropriate to avoid having to extract a tooth that has become infected. Keeping your natural tooth in place is the best option for maintaining optimal long term dental health and avoids the complexities of tooth replacement.
Common signs that you may need a root canal can include:
- Sudden tooth pain
- Throbbing pain in or around a tooth
- Swelling of the gums around a tooth
There is a range of possible causes for tooth pain, from decay to an abscess. We will need to examine your tooth to determine the cause of your pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, contact our Westborough dental office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
Root Canal Procedure
The root canal process has evolved over the years and today’s patients can enjoy an improved experience that causes minimal discomfort. A local anesthetic will be administered using the Wand, a convenient handheld anesthesia delivery system that makes the experience virtually pain free. For anxious patients, we also offer dental sedation options.
One of our dental professionals will make a tiny hole in the back of the tooth and gently remove the infected inner pulp. After cleaning the area to prevent future infection, a biocompatible material will be placed to stabilize the tooth structure. The tooth will be sealed with a composite resin material. In many cases, it is recommended that a dental crown is placed to strengthen the tooth and ensure a lasting result.
Root Canal FAQs
Do I need a root canal specialist?
If your case is severe enough, you may be referred to an endodontist specializing in root canal therapy. Endodontists are a special type of dentist who have had extra years of training, with a focus on performing root canals and related procedures.
Should I get a root canal procedure or an extraction?
You may be wondering if your tooth will recover without treatment or if you should have your tooth extracted and receive a dental implant. A consultation with your dentist will determine if a root canal procedure is required and if alternatives are suitable based upon your medical history and the severity of the infected tooth.
Are root canals painful?
If the dental pulp has died, there are no nerves, so pain will not be felt. However, if the dental pulp is still alive, pain management will be necessary. The procedure itself is no more uncomfortable than that of a regular dental filling.
Schedule a Dental Exam Today
Don’t ignore pain in your smile, instead see your dentist for a thorough diagnosis and to find out if you need treatment. Schedule a visit online today. Give us a call at (508) 342-1519 today.