The team at Bluff Creek Dental works hard to give patients superior dental results. When damage to teeth is very severe, our Chanhassen dentists may recommend a root canal to alleviate the issue and get your dental health back on track.
What is a Root Canal?
A Root canal (also known as endodontics) is a set of specialized dental treatments designed to treat problems that arise in the soft pulp, or nerve tissue within a tooth.
Pulp tissue consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve cells. Ergo, when an infection or inflammation occurs there the experience can be very painful. In order to assuage this pain and the issue, a root canal becomes necessary, otherwise the problem will only worsen and could eventually cause dental abscess and systemic problems in other parts of the body.
Do not worry, though. A root canal is no more uncomfortable than getting a common dental filling. In fact, this kind of dental treatment is actually one of the most effective ways of relieving certain kinds of tooth pain.
What Causes Pulp Tissue Damage?
Untreated dental cavities allow bacteria to work their way to the center of the tooth, where they infect pulp tissue. Bacteria can also come into contact with pulp tissue through chipped or cracked teeth, or any openings in a tooth’s protective enamel coating. Additionally, trauma to teeth (like that which may occur in sports injuries or traffic accidents) can cause pulp tissue damage.
Having multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth increases the chances of this type of injury. And certain procedures like crown preparation or extensive orthodontics may eventually lead to root canal problems as well.
Signs & Symptoms of a Problem
Constant, severe pain and pressure in the mouth along with swelling and gum sensitivity indicate a need for immediate dental treatment. If you feel a sharp pain when biting down while eating, this is another sign of pulp tissue damage. And if you sense a lingering pain when eating cold or hot foods it can also be an indicator of a dental problem that requires immediate action.
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment with your local Chanhassen dentist as soon as possible.
Little Pain & Relief to Gain
There is a false perception regarding root canals, the media tending to portray them in negative light. However, the truth is that root canals eliminate way more pain than they cause. As mentioned, root canals can be compared comfort-wise to the experience of getting a common dental filling. And the completion of this treatment will relieve the much more critical pain you feel in your teeth due to infection or inflammation.
Furthermore, a natural tooth that's saved via root canal treatment can help you avoid problems that occur when a tooth must be removed, such as:
- Unwanted tooth shifting, which can lead to difficulties chewing
- The need for bridgework or dental implants, which can be costly and complicated
- And the eventual loss of bone structure in the area of the missing tooth
The Treatment Process
The root canal process begins by numbing the tooth, just like with a dental filling. In most cases this is the most uncomfortable part of the treatment, and it is over quickly.
The next step is to make a small opening in the damaged tooth. Using tiny instruments, your Chanhassen dentist will remove dead and dying pulp tissue then clean, disinfect, and prepare the chamber and canals of your tooth for an inert, biocompatible filling. This opening is then sealed with adhesive cement. Your dentist may also recommend a dental crown or other restoration solution to further protect the damaged tooth.
It is common for the tooth to feel sensitive and tender for a few days after your root canal dental treatment. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid biting down hard on the treated tooth. Most post-treatment discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
We’re Here to Help
When you’re battling severe tooth pain, a root canal is the easy solution to end your discomfort. It’s an extremely common procedure that the professionals at Bluff Creek Dental are happy to inform you more about. If you would like to further your understanding of root canals, dental fillings, or the other cosmetic dentistry and traditional dentistry services we provide, contact us today. We look forward to helping strengthen your smile.
For more information on root canals in the Chanhassen, MN area call Bluff Creek Dental at (952) 679-6360 today!
“I'd Rather Have a Root Canal...” We've all heard that expression, but how true is it? Is root canal treatment really something to be feared, or does it actually offer relief? In this article, a common misconception is demystified. Get the real story about this much maligned procedure that eases pain, rather than causes it... Read Article
Root Canal Treatment for Children's Teeth You may think that if a baby tooth comes out prematurely, it's no great loss; after all, it was going to fall out anyway, right? Wrong! Primary (baby) teeth serve as important guides for the permanent teeth that will replace them. Losing baby teeth prematurely can allow bite problems to develop. Root canal treatment for children can prevent this. Learn what to look for in your child and what can be done to save baby teeth until they are ready to be lost naturally... Read Article
Tooth Pain? Don't Wait! Pain is a protective response that informs the body that something is wrong. Tooth pain, specifically, is caused by a reaction of the nerves inside a tooth's pulp chamber, with the severity dependent upon the type and degree of the stimulus. This article gives some examples of pain symptoms and their possible causes... Read Article