Let’s face it; root canals have a bad reputation. A majority of people feel apprehensive about having a root canal performed, mainly because the procedure is seriously misunderstood. The negative connotations surrounding root canal therapy are unfortunate since the procedure can actually improve your comfort and better your oral health. Root canals are one of the most common dental procedures with well over 14 million performed every year.
WHY WOULD I NEED A ROOT CANAL?
Contrary to popular belief, it is a relatively simple procedure. Many patients fear root canal therapy because they believe treatment is complex, invasive and difficult to get through. This isn’t the case. Local anesthetics and advancements in modern dentistry have made root canals highly tolerable procedures that are often no less comfortable than getting a standard filling.
Root canal therapy can save a diseased tooth from extraction. If left untreated, a pulp infection could destabilize your tooth’s position within the jaw and deteriorate its most basic structure. This could cause your tooth to simply fall out or require an extraction. Most patients would much prefer to undergo root canal therapy rather than be in a position where more advanced restorative treatment such as a dental implant is required.
WHAT SYMPTOMS SUGGEST I NEED ROOT CANAL THERAPY?
The most common complaint is severe tooth pain when you bite or chew. But you might have other symptoms as well, including:
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after the heat or cold has been removed
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling in the surrounding gum tissue
- Facial swelling
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Recurring pimple on the gums near the tooth
In some cases, patients don’t have any symptoms and the infection or inflammation is detected during a routine exam. Because dental issues can linger well below your gumline, it’s essential to have routine dental exams and cleanings two times per year, or as recommended by Dr. O’Donnell.
ONLY THE BEST
Dr. O’Donnell’s goal is to provide sensible treatment options that allow you to make informed decisions. He strives to render superior care with a gentle hand in a calm and comfortable environment.
He has performed well over a thousand root canals over the years and makes repairing your smile a simple, successful process.
Initially, X-rays are taken to help determine the severity of the problem and allow Dr. O’Donnell to see the canals in the tooth. Dr. O’Donnell begins by making an opening in the tooth, removing the nerve and the surrounding tissue, and shaping the canals. During this procedure, he rinses the tooth with different solutions to destroy any lingering bacteria. A series of files are utilized to clean out the infected tissue within the pulp chamber. After the root canals are thoroughly cleaned out, the canal is sealed.
A tooth that requires a root canal often requires a restoration; a crown, a crown and post (for a tooth that lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place), or other restoration, in order to maintain the integrity of the tooth. Otherwise, the tooth may become susceptible to fracture in the future.
Upon completion, a restored tooth that has undergone a root canal and restoration will blend in with surrounding teeth virtually undetectable to the average eye. This tooth will function just like all of your other teeth, so you won’t even know it’s there.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Dr. O’Donnell performs most root canal therapy in one visit if the tooth is receptive. He understands that you might be nervous about your procedure, but he has performed thousands of root canals, and he knows that there’s a technical and human component to every root canal. With his state-of-the-art equipment — including dental CBCT/ 3D Imaging — he has the technical end completely covered. Additionally, the comfort of his patients is foremost in his mind. He never rushes his procedures and believes in quality of care over quantity of care.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Losing a tooth should always be the absolute last resort. When you have a tooth extracted other teeth may shift, causing your bite to get misaligned. Plus, you risk losing bone tissue, which can put other teeth at risk as you age.
By having root canal therapy and preserving the tooth, you’re more likely to
- Have efficient and painless chewing.
- Keep your smile looking natural
- Maintain normal speech
- Protect surrounding teeth from excessive wear and tear
- Experience normal biting pressure.