Root canal treatment could come to the rescue!
At Malo Smile USA Rutherford, it is always our aim to avoid the need for teeth extraction wherever possible. Sometimes, when a tooth has become very badly decayed or damaged, there may be no other realistic option, and a partial denture or dental implant may be needed to replace the extracted tooth.
Where a tooth has become infected in the root canals, there is a good chance that it can be preserved using root canal treatment. Although this procedure has a somewhat undeserved reputation for being painful, it is nowhere near as bad as you might imagine and it is often a very successful way of preserving the natural tooth, when infected. Of course this is much preferred to extraction!
First of all, we would like to assure all our patients that what you may have heard about root canal treatment is likely to be false. Where its bad reputation came from, nobody seems to know for sure. There is a strong likelihood that, prior to x-rays being routinely taken before the treatment, patients that had an abscess caused by the infection found the procedure to be very painful. This is not surprising, but this is no longer the case. Before root canal treatment is performed, we will x-ray the tooth. This will show any abscesses that are present and if any are found, your treatment will be postponed and the abscess treated, often with antibiotics. Once the tooth is abscess free, the treatment can begin and should cause no more discomfort than most other invasive dental procedures.
Root canal procedure
A local anesthetic will be administered to enable the procedure to go ahead with minimal discomfort, and, once this has taken effect, the top of the tooth will be removed, which then gives access to the infected root canals.
This part of the tooth, contains nerves and tiny blood vessels, and, when infected, these need to be removed, leaving a hollow canal in the tooth. This is cleaned to ensure that no bacterial traces remain. As leaving the canals in this state would weaken the tooth, they are then filled using a special filling for this procedure. Finally, in order to both strengthen the tooth and give it a natural appearance, a dental crown is added to the top of the tooth.
Taking care of your treated tooth
Having saved your natural tooth, it is important to take good care of it. Even though the tooth is now effectively “dead” due to removal of the nerves and pulp, it still needs regular dental care. You should continue to brush the tooth in the normal manner, also taking care to floss between the teeth in order to prevent gum disease.
Care should be taken when biting on hard objects too. Although the tooth should be sufficiently strong for everyday use, the lack of nerves means that it is possible to bite down harder than intended, which could cause it to fracture. So a little extra caution is worthwhile.
At Malo Smile USA we like our patients to be as fully informed about their dental treatments as possible, and we hope we could explain the root canal procedure sufficiently. Our Malo Smile dental team is always on hand to discuss this, or any other treatment, with you should you find it useful. Simply call our Malo Smile USA Rutherford office on to arrange a consultation or to seek more specific information advice. Our friendly staff is looking forward to give you all the information and arrange a complimentary consultation for you.