Endodontics (Root Canals)
When a tooth has cracked or sustained a deep cavity, it allows bacteria to enter and cause an infection in the pulp and roots. If you do not treat the infection by getting a root canal, it can cause a painful condition known as a tooth abscess. It can also spread to other parts of your body and endanger your health. The pain and swelling may cause permanent damage to your jaw bone as well.
Although most patients exhibit several symptoms indicating the need for a root canal, some do not have any problems at all. That is why coming in for your bi-annual preventative exams with Dr. Teuscher is so important. He can spot an infection and make a plan to treat it, even when you are not experiencing any symptoms. The following are the most common indications that you may need a root canal in the near future:
- Throbbing tooth pain
- Change in the intensity of pain when you stand up or lie down
- Increased pain when drinking or eating something that is unusually hot or cold
- Bad breath
- Pain radiating to the jaw
- Gum tenderness
- Pus or sac formation on the gum
The Root Canal Procedure
Your dentist numbs the tooth receiving the root canal and the tissue surrounding it with anesthesia. It will take longer for the numbing effect to kick in if your tissues are acutely inflamed. However, Dr. Teuscher will ensure that the area is numb before continuing with the root canal. The next step is to place a thin sheet of vinyl or rubber called a dental dam over the affected tooth and those surrounding it. Dr. Teuscher completes the procedure through a small hole in the dental dam. This protects you from contamination by bacteria present in your saliva.
At this point, Dr. Teuscher drills a small hole through the biting surface of the treated tooth. He removes the diseased tissue with an instrument designed specifically for this purpose. Next, he cleans and disinfects the tooth and covers it with a crown. This prevents further infection and gives you the full strength of your normal bite. Our staff will provide you with detailed information on pain relief and any restrictions you should follow after your root canal.
While some people think that a root canal causes pain, the reality is that it prevents it. Most patients agree that getting a root canal is no more uncomfortable than any other dental procedure. When you consider that a root canal can preserve your oral health, momentary discomfort is a small price to pay. Please contact our office at any hour if you are experiencing significant pain.