Posts for tag: root canal
Is your mouth trying to tell you that you may need to get a root canal?
No one wants to hear from their Rio Grande, NJ dentist Dr. William Panico that they need a root canal. In fact, we hate having to tell our patients this. If you are dealing with certain changes to your oral health that concern you, find out if any of these symptoms could be trying to tell you that a root canal is in your near future.
Trying to figure out if you need root canal therapy can be a difficult task to do on your own, which is why you should see our Rio Grande, NJ general dentist every six months or if you start to notice symptoms of a problem.
In fact, there are many warning signs that a tooth isn’t healthy and may require a root canal. Even though we are the only ones who can properly determine whether you will need this treatment or not, if you start to notice any of these symptoms then you need to call us right away:
- Tooth sensitivity (particularly to hot or cold foods/drinks)
- Dental pain (it may be a persistent or intermittent ache)
- Tooth pain that occurs while chewing
- Swelling or inflammation of the gums
- Discolorations or darkening of a tooth
When you come in for treatment we will talk to you about the symptoms you are experiencing and how long they’ve been going on. Then we will examine your smile to check for any signs that you may have an infection.
What is the purpose of a root canal?
A root canal is designed to treat an infection that has reached the inside structure of the tooth, known as the pulp. A root canal is also required if the dental pulp has become inflamed due to trauma or injury. During a root canal, we will remove the diseased or damaged tissue to prevent the problem from progressing so severely that the tooth has to be removed. The goal of root canal treatment is to actually preserve as much of the tooth as possible so it doesn’t need to be extracted.
Do you have questions about getting a root canal in Rio Grande, NJ? If so, then don’t hesitate to turn to Whitecaps Dental today for all of your restorative, general and preventive dental care.
When decay spreads to the tooth’s inner pulp, a root canal treatment may be necessary to save it. It’s a common procedure: after removing all tissue from the pulp, the pulp chamber and root canals are filled with a special filling. The tooth is then sealed and a crown installed to protect the tooth from re-infection and/or fracture, possibly extending the tooth’s life for many years.
Sometimes, however, the tooth doesn’t respond and heal as expected: the number, size and shape of the patient’s root canals may have complicated the procedure; there may have been a delay before installing the final crown or restoration or the restoration didn’t seal the tooth as it should have, both occurrences giving rise to re-infection. It’s also possible for a second, separate occurrence of decay or injury to the tooth or crown to undo the effects of successful treatment.
It may be necessary in these cases to conduct a second root canal treatment, one that may be more complicated or challenging than the first one. For one thing, if the tooth has been covered by a crown or other restorative materials, these will most likely need to be removed beforehand. In cases where the root canal network and anatomy are challenging, it may require the expertise of an endodontist, a dental specialist in root canal treatments. Using advanced techniques with microscopic equipment, an endodontist can locate and fill unusually narrow or blocked root canals.
Because of these and other possible complications, a root canal retreatment may be more costly than a first-time procedure. Additionally, if you have dental insurance, your particular benefit package may or may not cover the full cost or impose limitations on repeated procedures within a certain length of time. The alternative to retreatment, though, is the removal of the tooth and replacement with a dental implant, bridge or partial denture with their own set of costs and considerations.
The complications and costs of a repeated procedure, though, may be well worth it, if it results in a longer life for the tooth. Preserving your natural tooth is in most cases the most desired outcome for maintaining a healthy mouth.
If you would like more information on root canal treatments, 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 Treatment.”