When the pulp at the center of a tooth becomes infected, diseased, or otherwise damaged, it must be removed in order to preserve the tooth. The practice of removing decay and treating infection in the tooth is known as endodontics, although most patients are more familiar with the term root canal therapy. Endodontics can restore health to a damaged tooth and prevent the need for extraction.
Safe, Effective Treatment for Root Canal Infections
One of the most well known effects of tooth decay is a weakening or deterioration of the tooth’s enamel. What many patients do not realize is that this deterioration makes it possible for harmful bacteria to enter the root canals of the tooth where the nerves reside. When this occurs, the most likely result is an infection, which can cause excruciating pain and, left untreated, the death of the tooth. When a root canal infection is present, endodontics, performed at our Long Island practice, can salvage the healthy outer portions of the tooth.
Many patients experience anxiety at the thought of undergoing root canal therapy. However, modern endodontic treatment is actually virtually pain free. Our dentists have extensive experience in endodontics, including training from one of the top endodontists in the nation. We also use state-of-the-art dental technology to ensure the safety and comfort of our patients.
If you are suffering from tooth pain or any other symptoms of a root canal infection, we urge you to contact 4Excellence in Dentistry to schedule an appointment today.
When Is Endodontic Treatment Necessary?
Most mild to moderate cases of tooth decay can be treated through the removal of the damaged tooth matter followed by the placement of a filling or a dental crown. However, when there is significant decay or infection in the pulp of the tooth, root canal therapy is the most effective means of relieving pain and preserving as much of the healthy tooth structure as possible.
The following symptoms may be signs that you are a candidate for root canal therapy:
- A persistent toothache or pain when chewing
- Tooth sensitivity, particularly when exposed to hot or cold temperatures
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness of the gums surrounding the tooth
All of these symptoms are cause for concern and should be examined by one of our dentists.
Root Canal Therapy
If our dentists determine that infection is present, root canal therapy will be necessary to restore strength and function to the tooth. In order to completely clean and disinfect the tooth, the pulp and nerves at the center of the tooth will need to be removed. We perform endodontic treatment using local anesthetic so that our patients remain comfortable and free of pain throughout the procedure. Medication is often used as well to ensure that the infection is completely eliminated from the tooth. When the tooth has been completely cleaned, it will be sealed to block out bacteria and protect the tooth from reinfection. We typically recommend that a dental crown be placed on the treated tooth to provide patients with a further layer of protection and strength.
Schedule an Appointment
Endodontic therapy effectively relieves pain while restoring the tooth’s natural strength and function. If you have experienced symptoms of root canal infection, we urge you to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.
Learn More About Root Canal Candidates
If dental decay goes undetected or untreated, bacteria will eventually work its way into the inner chambers and roots of a tooth. This infection can cause severe discomfort, and can also threaten the outer structure of your tooth. When this occurs, root canal therapy is often the best way to treat your symptoms, save your tooth, and improve your overall oral health. Dr. Lewis Ricciuti, Dr. James Albanese, or Dr. Jennifer Moore can evaluate root canal candidates at our Long Island practice, and clear up infection and restore a treated tooth with a custom-fabricated crown. If you are suffering from a toothache or other symptoms, schedule an appointment at 4Excellence in Dentistry to find out if root canal therapy is right for you.
If early preventive treatments, like x-rays, do not catch signs of infection, you may experience symptoms that indicate you are a good candidate for root canal therapy. Common signs of infection include:
- A chronic toothache
- Tooth sensitivity or pain when chewing
- Sores on your gums
- A single discolored tooth
- Bad breath
- A severely fractured tooth
When bacteria builds up on your teeth, it interacts with sugars to form a destructive acid. This acid can eat away at your dental enamel, eventually creating a cavity that spreads further into the structure of the tooth. Without treatment, bacteria can infect the soft pulp inside the tooth, as well as its roots. Unchecked infection may travel even further to affect your gum tissue, jawbone, and surrounding teeth.
Determining Your Candidacy
During a thorough evaluation, your dentist will determine whether your tooth can be saved using root canal therapy. If the infection has progressed substantially, for example, you may need to discuss alternate treatment options. If you are found to be a good candidate, your dentist will first numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. Next, your dentist will create a tiny opening in the tooth, and remove the infected pulp. Root canals may also be treated with a disinfect to kill any remaining bacteria. Your dentist will then fill the root canals and the inside of your tooth with a soft rubber compound called gutta percha. Finally, the tooth will be shaped to accommodate a dental crown, and the restoration will be placed to protect the weakened tooth. At 4Excellence in Dentistry, our patients can benefit from customized restorations that blend beautifully with their smile, while fully restoring their bite and function.
Improve Your Oral Health
In many cases, if you are suffering from infection and an unhealthy tooth, there are only two ways to end your discomfort: extraction or root canal therapy. Whenever possible, it is always best to save a natural tooth. By preserving your tooth, your dentist can protect your jawbone health and prevent the bone degeneration that results from missing teeth. Root canal therapy can also help you avoid more costly and invasive restorative treatments, such as dental implants.
Schedule Your Appointment
During a consultation, you can learn more about how our advanced technology and clinical expertise can restore health to your smile. Contact 4Excellence in Dentistry today to find out if you can benefit from root canal therapy.