Posts for tag: Root Canal
Root canals often get a bum rap. Although the procedure saves millions of teeth every year, it's often erroneously portrayed as an unpleasant experience. And if that wasn't enough, a long-discredited medical theory has found new life on the internet asserting root canals are a health danger.
First off, root canals play an immensely important role in treating teeth with advanced decay. If not promptly treated, a cavity can turn into a major infection of the interior tooth pulp and root canals, and ultimately the supporting bone. Teeth with this level of decay are not long for this world.
A root canal treatment stops this disease process in its tracks. After numbing the tooth and surrounding gums, we drill a small hole into the tooth's interior and then remove all of the infected tissue within the pulp and root canals. After disinfecting these areas, we fill them with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha.
After sealing off the access hole—and later capping the tooth with a life-like crown—the tooth is secure from further decay. And, by the way, the procedure doesn't hurt, thanks to local anesthesia. If anything, any pain caused by the decay attacking the tooth's nerves has now been alleviated.
So, what about the idea floating on the Web that root canals are dangerous? The "root" for this conjecture is a theory by Weston Price, an early 20th Century dentist, that leaving a "dead" body part in the body leads to various health problems (including cancer). That would include a root-canaled tooth, which has had the living tissue in the pulp removed.
There's just one problem—Weston's theory was fully investigated in the 1950s and overwhelmingly discredited. The supposed cancer threat was also reviewed in a 2013 study, which found no link between root canals and increased cancer risk. In fact, dental patients who had undergone several root canals had a diminished risk.
Like all other health procedures, root canals have some risks of complication. But those complications are far from life-threatening—it's tooth-saving benefits are often worth the risk. So, fear not if your dentist says you need a root canal. It won't hurt and it won't endanger your health—and it could save your tooth.
If you would like more information on root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Safety.”
During this year's baseball spring training, Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton got into a row with a steak dinner—and the beefsteak got the better of it. During his meal, the Gold Glove winner cracked a tooth.
Fortunately, he didn't lose it. Buxton's dentist rescued the tooth with a dental procedure that's been around for over a century—a root canal treatment. The dependable root canal is responsible for saving millions of teeth each year.
Dentists turn to root canal treatments for a number of reasons: a permanent tooth's roots are dissolving (a condition called resorption); chronic inflammation of the innermost tooth pulp due to repeated fillings; or a fractured or cracked tooth, like Buxton's, in which the pulp becomes exposed to bacteria.
One of the biggest reasons, though, is advanced tooth decay. Triggered by acid, a by-product of bacteria, a tooth's enamel softens and erodes, allowing decay into the underlying dentin. In its initial stages, we can often treat decay with a filling. But if the decay continues to advance, it can infect the pulp and root canals and eventually reach the bone.
Decay of this magnitude seriously jeopardizes a tooth's survival. But we can still stop it before that point with a root canal. The basic procedure is fairly straightforward. We begin first by drilling a small hole into the tooth to access the inner pulp and root canals. Using special instruments, we then remove all of the infected tissue within the tooth.
After disinfecting the now empty spaces and reshaping the root canals, we fill the tooth with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. This, along with filling the access hole, seals the tooth's interior from future infection. In most cases, we'll return sometime later and bond a life-like crown to the tooth (as Buxton's dentist did for him) for added protection and support.
You would think such a procedure would get its own ticker tape parade. Unfortunately, there's a cultural apprehension that root canals are painful. But here's the truth—because your tooth and surrounding gums are numbed by local anesthesia, a root canal procedure doesn't hurt. Actually, if your tooth has been throbbing from tooth decay's attack on its nerves, a root canal treatment will alleviate that pain.
After some time on the disabled list, Buxton was back in the lineup in time to hit his longest homer to date at 456 feet on the Twins' Opening Day. You may not have that kind of moment after a root canal, but repairing a bothersome tooth with this important procedure will certainly get you back on your feet again.
If you would like more information about root canal therapy, 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.”
How a root canal from your dentists in Clarks Summit, PA, can relieve your dental pain
If you have dental pain, it can be difficult to think about anything else. Do you need a filling, or do you need something more? The truth is, you may need a root canal.
Drs. Jeffrey Bell, Dale Collins, and Amy Cravath of Abington Dental Arts, in Clarks Summit, PA, offer a wide range of dental care services, including root canal treatment to relieve your dental pain.
So, how do you know if a root canal is needed? Only your dentist can tell for sure, but there are a few signs and symptoms which may indicate you and your tooth can benefit from root canal treatment. You may need a root canal if you: Notice a white or red bump appearing on your gums next to the root of a tooth. Have drainage, which can include blood or pus coming out from the bump on your gums. Feel sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down on food Experience increasing pain when your tooth is exposed to hot or cold foods or beverages. Have tooth pain that doesn’t go away
You may experience the signs and symptoms listed above due to trauma to your teeth, jaws, or face. You may also need a root canal because of chronic irritation and inflammation caused by grinding or clenching your teeth. The biggest contributor to needing a root canal is tooth decay, which can penetrate deep into the inner layer of your tooth, an area known as the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves and blood supply to your tooth. When this area is damaged or bruised, it causes inflammation inside your tooth. Pressure and fluid build inside your tooth, causing the tooth pain, which can become intense. When you experience intense dental pain, it’s good to know a root canal can eliminate your pain, and still let you keep your smile. To find out more about the root canal process and how root canal treatment can help you, talk with the experts. Call Drs. Jeffrey Bell, Dale Collins, and Amy Cravath of Abington Dental Arts, in Clarks Summit, PA, at (570) 586-1411. Call now!
Will this ailing tooth be saved? it's a question only your dentist at Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit, PA, can answer. Dr. Jeffrey Bell, Dr. Dale Collins and Dr. Amy Cravath, an endodontics specialist, bring precise diagnostics and restorative techniques to your treatment room, ensuring you tooth has the best chance of survival. Learn more about root canal therapy and if your tooth qualifies for this reliable restoration.
Root canals: anatomy and treatment
A root canal is the narrow, pulp-filled chamber inside every tooth root in your mouth. When damaged by injury, infection or decay, your tooth's root canals becomes inflamed, endangering the very viability of the tooth, surrounding bone and gums.
To counter advancing oral disease, your dentist at Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit, PA, may advise root canal therapy. Named for these chambers inside your teeth, a root canal procedure removes diseased pulp, nerves and blood vessels, preserving and protecting the outer structure with a lifelike dental crown made of durable porcelain.
Normally, the dentist advises root canal treatment based on oral examination, digital X-rays and your particular symptoms. Most patients who need root canal treatment have variety of symptoms which include:
- Severe dental sensitivity to pressure, heat, cold, or sugary foods
- Drainage from the tooth, accompanied by bad breath
- Reddened, swollen gums
- Jaw swelling
- Enamel discoloration
- A red pimple on the gums proximal to the tooth
Fortunately, root canal therapy relieves these nasty discomforts and leaves your tooth clean and disinfected inside and out. The procedure takes two appointments: one for cleaning and sealing the canals (the dentists choose biocompatible gutta-percha to fill and strengthen the canals) and another for removing the temporary crown and bonding on a customized permanent one. Through out, you'll be comfortable and pain-free as your dentist uses local anesthetic to keep the area numb.
A way to preserve your natural tooth
Your dentists at Abington Dental Arts join with their patients in maintaining smiles which are strong, bright and long-lasting. They work hard to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible, and modern root canal therapy is a great avenue toward that goal. In fact, the American Association of Endodontists, specialists in root canal therapy and dental implant procedures, says modern root canals save more teeth than ever before.
Find out more
If you have a cracked, heavily restored, or an otherwise compromised tooth, please contact Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit, PA, today for a consultation. Look forward to a complete, and completely healthy, smile and call (570) 586-1411.