Posts for tag: root canal
"Debit or credit?" "Buy or rent?" "Paper or plastic?" Decisions, decisions. It's great to have more than one good option, but it can also provoke a lot of thought in making the right choice. Here's another decision you may one day have to face: "Save my tooth or replace it?"
It's hard to pass up replacing a tooth causing you misery, especially when the alternative is a functional and attractive dental implant. But before you do, consider this important message the American Association of Endodontists relay during Save Your Tooth Month in May: Before you part with a tooth, consider saving it as the best option for your oral health.
Even an implant, the closest dental prosthetic we now have to a real tooth, doesn't have all the advantages of the original. That's because your teeth, gums and supporting bone all make up an integrated oral system: Each component supports the other in dental function, and they all work together to fight disease.
Now, there are situations where a tooth is simply beyond help, and thus replacing it with an implant is the better course of action. But if a tooth isn't quite to that point, making the effort to preserve it is worth it for your long-term health.
A typical tooth in peril is one with advanced tooth decay. Decay begins when acid softens tooth enamel and creates a cavity. At this stage, we can often fill it with a tooth-colored filling. But if it isn't caught early, the decay can advance into the tooth's interior pulp, well below the enamel and dentin layers.
This is where things get dicey. As decay infects the pulp, it can move on through the root canals to infect the underlying bone. If this happens, you're well on your way to losing the tooth. But even if the pulp and root canals have become infected, we may still be able to save the tooth with root canal therapy.
Here's how it works: We first drill a tiny access hole into the infected tooth. Using special instruments, we remove all of the infected tissue from within the pulp chamber and root canals. After a bit of canal reshaping, we fill the now empty spaces with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. After it sets, it protects the tooth from any more infection.
Contrary to what you might think, root canals aren't painful, as your tooth and the surrounding tissue are completely anesthetized. In fact, if your tooth has been hurting, a root canal will stop the pain. Better yet, it could save a tooth that would otherwise be lost—a satisfying outcome to a wise decision.
If you would like more information about tooth decay treatments, 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.”
Millions of Americans have had a root canal. The procedure is an endodontic treatment to remove the inner pulp and nerves from an infected tooth. The infection can be caused by injury or tooth decay. Dr. Colin L. Smith is a dentist at Lake Oswego Smiles. He practices general and cosmetic dentistry.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Lake Oswego residents may need a root canal if they are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Throbbing tooth pain
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- A tooth that is tender to the touch or when chewing
- Swollen gum around the tooth
- Tender lymph nodes
What Happens During a Root Canal?
After taking X-rays, Dr. Smith will isolate the affected tooth with a dental damp to keep it clean and dry. He will then drill a hole through the tooth’s crown to access the infected pulp. He will then clean out the chamber of the tooth and prepare it for filling. After the tooth has been filled, Dr. Smith will cement a prosthetic crown to the tooth to strengthen it. You may feel a little discomfort over the next few days, but you can take over-the-counter pain killers to relive this.
You should return to Dr. Smith if you experience any of the following after a root canal:
- Severe pain for more than three days
- Visible swelling on the inside or outside of your mouth
- A rash or itching
- Your bite doesn’t feel normal
- The crown becomes loose or falls off
In some cases you may have an infected tooth without noticing any symptoms, this is why it’s a good idea to have a regular six-month check-up so the dentist can spot the early signs of any oral issues and stop them from worsening.
If you live in Lake Oswego and you are looking for a dentist or you would like to find out more about having a root canal, call Dr. Smith at (503) 635-3653.
Find out the common dental symptoms that may require root canal treatment.
If you are noticing some alarming changes in your oral health, you may be wondering what’s going on. You may even wonder whether or not you need to turn to our Lake Oswego, OR, dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, for care. Read on to learn more about root canal therapy and the warning signs that may mean it’s time to give us a call.
What To Look Out For
The most common symptoms and signs that point towards needing a root canal include,
- Severe tooth pain that’s worse when chewing or biting down on the tooth
- Lingering tooth sensitivity particularly to hot or cold
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swelling of the gums surrounding the tooth
- The development of an abscess (a pimple-like growth on the gums)
It’s important to understand that while a toothache doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need root canal treatment, it is a common warning sign. Either way, dental pain is your mouth’s way of saying that something is wrong, whether you are dealing with decay or infected dental pulp. Since a toothache does constitute a dental emergency, you will need to come in right away for an evaluation.
What Is Involved in a Root Canal?
A root canal is an endodontic procedure in which our Lake Oswego, OR, general dentist will need to go inside the tooth to remove inflamed or infected dental pulp (the soft connective tissue and nerves within the tooth). Dental pulp can become inflamed or infected by severe decay, pervasive bacteria, or a traumatic injury. Once the dental pulp is affected, the only option is to remove it.
Before we remove this pulp we will thoroughly numb the area around the tooth to reduce any discomfort. This can be a major relief for our patients who’ve been dealing with massive tooth pain. Plus, once the pulp has been removed, the toothache will be gone immediately. Once the area is numb, we will simply remove the dental pulp and clean out the inside of the tooth to remove any bacteria.
Once the tooth has been thoroughly disinfected, we will seal up the root canals to prevent bacteria from getting in them. We will also apply a special material inside the tooth to seal it up before placing a dental crown. The dental crown is designed to strengthen the tooth’s existing structure.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms above? If so, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with the dental experts at Lake Oswego Smiles by calling (503) 635-3653. Let us alleviate your dental discomfort!
Singer LeAnn Rimes was forced to cancel a string of performances recently, as a more pressing engagement came up: a late-night meeting with her endodontist. It turned out that the country-pop star needed some emergency dental work performed while she was on tour. But her die-hard fans needn't have felt left out — Rimes faithfully tweeted each stage of her dental treatment.
The trouble began before she was scheduled to play a show in Ohio. “Waiting on the endodontist to meet me and do a nighttime root canal,” she informed her twitter followers. Instead of performing, Rimes was advised to spend the next few days resting after the emergency treatment. “Happy Friday! I'll be spending mine in bed,” she tweeted after the previous evening's procedure. The following Monday, Rimes returned to the dentist's chair for follow-up treatment.
It turned out that the singer had been battling dental pain for months. “I am so disappointed that I can't make it to my fans tonight.” Rimes explained in a statement. “I had wanted to give them the show they deserved and only wish this tooth pain held out a little longer.”
If there's a moral to this story, it's this: If you have tooth pain, don't wait to see a dentist. Call us right away!
A feeling of constant pain and pressure in your mouth is a clear indication that you may need a root canal. Another telltale symptom is sharp pain when you bite down on food, or lingering pain after eating something hot or cold. Not every symptom is as clear-cut, however — the only way to know for sure whether you need treatment is to come in for an evaluation.
Pain in your teeth or gums may be a symptom of a serious condition. Even if the pain goes away temporarily, an underlying infection generally does not. If a treatment such as root canal therapy is needed, the sooner it is obtained, the better you'll feel. And remember, root canal treatment doesn't cause tooth pain — it relieves it!
If you have any concerns about tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “I'd Rather Have a Root Canal” and “Signs and Symptoms of a Future Root Canal.”