How Do You Know If You Need a Root Canal?
You will know! The nice thing about root canals is that the patient is very aware that something is wrong. You will feel pain inside of a tooth that will be persistent and severe. At first, it will likely come in waves over a period of a few weeks, lasting a few hours each time. Then, as the infection worsens, the pain will become chronic. You will need to call a dentist. If you don’t, that tooth will need to be removed. It might crack on its own, so be careful with it. It also might feel very loose.
Benefits of a Root Canal
This procedure can heal your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental bridges or artificial tooth implants. Inside your tooth are blood vessels and nerves that come into the tooth at the root or base. Irritation to this interior can be caused by excessive decay or damage to the tooth. If the tooth is infected, you will know because it becomes very painful to chew and will be sensitive to cold drinks.
Non-Surgical vs. Surgical
A non-surgical root canal is much more common than a surgical one. A non-surgical root canal is a lot like a deep filling. The tooth will be drilled, cleaned and then filled. You will be under anesthesia, so there is no pain involved. Generally, surgical root canals only happen when a pretty severe infection is found. In the surgical version of this procedure, there will be an incision in the gums to allow the dentist to access the infection from a better angle to make sure that the tissue is removed safely.
Once your dentist has examined your mouth, they may elect to go with non-surgical treatment to remove the injured portion of your inner tooth. That part of the tooth interior will be removed and the canal system it is connected to will be cleaned and sealed. The whole thing is done in a single visit and often is done through the use of laser-assisted root canal therapy. The Boynton Laser Dental Center uses a PIPs photon-induced photoacoustic streaming system to better clean and sterilize the root canal area. This process is much simpler, quicker and more comfortable for the patient. This non-surgical procedure solves the problem 9 out of 10 times.
Those unlucky 10% might continue to have a problem even after the treatment. This can be caused by an infection, new decay or a tooth fracture. These issues are most common when the procedure involves one of the back teeth.
In these cases, the tooth can go through the process again and this time the canals will be sterilized. It is possible that there has been a root fracture, which is something that can’t be identified until the tooth is removed. Worst case, the tooth will have to be taken out.
The cost of this procedure depends on how many teeth are involved and how extensive the damage is. This kind of treatment is much less expensive than a tooth removal or replacement. You usually don’t need a crown once the treatment is completed. Most insurance plans cover this procedure.
Preparing For a Root Canal
You can keep taking any medication that you normally take. Whenever you are in doubt, just call a doctor. You should eat a big meal unless you are going to have general anesthesia. If you are on antibiotic pre-medication, it is very important to make sure you take it on the day of your procedure.
The Time For a Root Canal
Root canals have gotten a bit of a reputation over the past few decades as a dreadful process. These days, thanks to the anesthesia and advances in technique and equipment, you aren’t going to feel a thing. A number of people have even become famous on Youtube by acting goofy while the anesthesia was still in effect. A root canal is never fun, but it isn’t something worth dreading. Most patients will claim that it wasn’t nearly as bad as they thought it was going to be.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, you need to get it checked out. It might go away for a day or two, but it will come back. Tooth pains don’t disappear, they worsen. The longer you wait, the more severe the procedure you’ll need to repair it. If you think you or someone you love needs a root canal, call us at the Boynton Laser Dental Center and make an appointment. We have a reputation as the most comfortable and advanced dental center in the region. We can take care of your problem in a single visit and you will be pain-free in no time. Call us at the Boynton Laser Dental Center today!