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Deep cavities, cracked teeth, trauma to teeth, or a leaking restoration can cause the soft tissue inside the canal of your tooth, called dental pulp, to become infected or abcessed. This can lead to a “pimple on your gums”, facial swelling, bad taste in your mouth or great discomfort and pain. You may also experience severe sensitivity to cold and hot food and liquids accompanied by spontaneous throbbing or pain when biting. This condition can only be treated with what is called a root canal. A root canal is a procedure for saving a tooth that is damaged and causing pain. After removing the diseased tissue, the doctor seals the canals. Dental crowns are highly recommended to cap the teeth treated with root canals as they can become brittle and prone to fracture. Good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are still necessary to maintain and assess the long term integrity of the tooth.
Alternative to root canal treatment
The only alternative to root canal treatment involves having the tooth extracted. Saving your natural teeth, where possible, is always recommended by our dental team, as the natural teeth serve many functions in the mouth that are not always obvious and that cannot always be replicated by artificially replaced teeth. The natural tooth helps support other teeth in the mouth and helps stimulate bone regeneration in the jaw. Also, in terms of cost, removing a tooth and replacing its function in the mouth through other dental treatment options can often be more costly than saving the tooth itself.
When a tooth cannot be saved by a root canal treatment, in the case where is it beyond repair for example, or if you should choose not to proceed with a root canal on a particular tooth, the alternative is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant or denture to restore chewing function and prevent neighboring teeth from shifting.
The Root Canal Myth
If you have heard the common expression, “as painful as the root canal,” you can relax! With advances in dentistry, this expression is simply a myth. If anything, a root canal treatment can require some endurance due to the length of the treatment, but it is typically as comfortable as having a regular dental filling.
Please contact us to discuss root canal treatments.
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35 Colter Ct.
Monday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Tuesday-Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm
Saturday by appointment only.