Cincinnati Root Canal Therapy from Top Dentists
Understanding Root Canals & What to Expect at Your Appointment
A root canal treatment is required when the pulp inside of a tooth’s root canal becomes a problem. The root canal could become inflamed or infected due to a variety of causes such as deep tooth decay or injury to the tooth. Even an injury to the tooth that has no visible signs of the injury may result in pulp damage.
If the tooth pulp becomes infected or inflamed, severe pain and even abscess can follow – neither of which are pleasant. In cases where it’s been left way too long, you can even develop an infection in the jaw bone itself. That’s why getting a root canal is so important. In fact, it’s why seeing your family dentist any time you have a toothache is important – catch these issues at their first signs.
A root canal is a treatment that has three goals:
- Remove the entirety of the infected pulp
- Prevent further infections in the tooth
- Save the natural tooth
You might be wondering why we don’t just pull a tooth that’s infected to this extent. But, whenever possible, it’s important to save a natural tooth, even one that’s non-vital (read: has a deactivated nerve and no blood flow) due to a root canal. Preventing a natural tooth from having to be pulled preserves the function of your bite, protects your other teeth from disproportionate wear-and-tear, and, of course, it keeps your smile looking natural – because it is!
Signs & Symptoms You Might Need a Root Canal
Signs you have a problem that requires a root canal are:
- You have a cracked tooth – can be from trauma or due to medical conditions
- You have a cavity that’s too deep to be corrected with a filling
- You have a loose, cracked or broken filling that’s allowing bacteria and debris into the empty cavity
- Your gums are darkened and have “pimples” in the affected area
Symptoms of an infected tooth that requires a root canal might include:
- Persistent and intense toothaches: They may get bad enough for the pain to spread to other areas of your head like your jaw or ear.
- Abnormal sensitivity to temperature and pressure
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- Discharge: There may be bleeding or leakage, or if the abscess ruptures, you’ll have a sudden rush of gross fluid (read: pus) in your mouth. This is an emergency – now all that infected fluid is dispersed throughout your mouth and jaw. Seek an emergency dentist immediately.
The Health Risks of a Tooth Abscess
A tooth abscess occurs when the infection in the pulp creates a pocket of infected pus around the root of the tooth. While not extremely common, an abscess that is not treated will continue to spread to the bone around the tooth’s root. It may even spread into surrounding tissues and bone. And infections that get to your muscle and bone can cause permanent damage that may result in the surgical removal of said tissue or bone.
In some cases, people have actually died from the infections that originated from a tooth abscess. Occasionally, the infection will spread to other parts of the body such as the heart and lungs. In rare cases, the infection has spread to the brain causing a brain abscess or even a coma.
A Quick Dip into the History of Root Canals
For millennia before root canal therapy was invented, people commonly died from infections spreading from abscesses like these. But it seems that root canal treatments have been saving people for over 2, 000 years. Human remains from the 3rd century BCE show the Romans drained infected teeth and deadened nerves with copper, which has antibiotic effects. It was probably an awful procedure, because there wasn’t much but getting wine drunk to lessen pain.
The Greeks and the Romans would do anything not to lose a tooth – they were just as concerned with a pretty smile as we are now. But where the Greeks would stuff mustard and herbs around an infected tooth and literally die from these infections before they’d let their tooth be pulled, the Romans may have been the first to stop this ridiculous cycle from happening.
The technological resources we have now means there’s no need to wait and worry about how bad an infection is getting, risking your whole-body health in the process. And it’s way less uncomfortable that getting a copper wire stabbed into an already painful tooth. Almost every time, we can remove the whole infection and save the natural tooth, all in an anesthetized outpatient process that’s no more uncomfortable than a common tooth extraction or cavity correction. So don’t put off a needed root canal too long — it can lead to a serious infection.
The Root Canal Procedure at Beckham Square
The traditional root canal procedure involves cleaning the pulp from its chamber with very small instruments. After removing the pulp, the pulp chamber and the root canals are shaped to the required space so that a biocompatible material can fill the space. The material that is most often used is a rubber-like material called gutta-percha, which is positioned with an adhesive-like cement to ensure complete closure of the root canal. The opening is closed with a temporary filling, which will be removed so the tooth can be completely restored.
We use a new technology for our root canals that makes the procedure 98%+ effective, lessens discomfort, and decreases healing time: the Gentle Wave method. This strategy for treating root canal infections uses fluid and acoustic vibrations instead of drills. In this way, there is less trauma to the tooth, and the vibrating fluid can reach every possible crevice where bacteria might be hiding. Like always, the comfort of our patients is just as important to us as the quality of the dental care we provide, which is why we like the Gentle Wave method for root canals.
Following the root canal, a restoration method will be placed on the tooth – possibly a crown or another type of protection. This protection will ensure that the tooth will be completely functional again.
Root Canals for Teeth that are Too Decayed to Save
Occasionally, a tooth may not be strong enough to keep the restoration in place following a root canal. When this condition exists, a post may be placed inside the tooth. Occasionally, a dentist will recommend tooth extraction and replacement with an implant crown. At the end of the day, while a root canal isn’t what anyone wants to be doing with their time, it is way better than getting an infected jaw bone and having to undergo tooth and bone removal, and reconstructive surgeries. That’s extreme and extremely avoidable.
Contact Beckham Square Family Dental today for Root Canal procedures in Cincinnati
If you are looking for a Cincinnati dentist who performs root canals and have a toothache that is severe and not responding to over-the-counter pain medicines, then you should call our office immediately at 513.489.7800. We are your local emergency dentist, so we keep room in our appointment book for problems just like this. We can quickly diagnose the problem and see if you need a root canal. And if a root canal is required, we can perform the procedure in a short manner to alleviate your pain and protect you from infection. In more complicated or progressive cases, our dentists may refer you to a root canal specialist. Give us a call or use our contact form to schedule a consultation about your root canal today.