What to expect from root canal therapy
August 15, 2016
Should you pull a tooth or save it? Dr. Tyler B. Schaffeld, Enterprise dentist, believes in saving natural teeth whenever possible. That’s why he performs precise and comfortable root canal therapy in his Enterprise, OR office. The treatment is painless and strengthens a sick tooth for years of service.
What is a root canal?
More properly called root canal, or endodontic, therapy, an Enterprise, OR root canal removes the infected and deteriorating soft tissue inside a tooth. Each tooth has up to 4 chambers, or root canals. They contain the nerves, blood supply and connective tissue that help a tooth develop and be viable.
After adolescence, however, this pulp is no longer necessary. If a tooth becomes infected due to deep tooth decay, fracture or periodontal disease, your Enterprise, OR dentist may be able to remove the pulp and seal the tooth.
What are the signs of dental abscess?
When you tooth is infected, you may:
- Have a swollen jaw
- See a pimple on the gum line near the infected tooth
- Experience a throbbing toothache
- Feel pain when biting down or drinking hot or cold liquids
- Have bad breath (halitosis)
- Have drainage coming from the area around the tooth
If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, contact Dr. Schaffeld right away. He will examine your mouth, take some digital x-rays and determine the course of treatment.
The Enterprise, OR root canal procedure
If Dr. Schaffeld determines root canal therapy could benefit a tooth, he ensures the patient is completely comfortable and pain-free during this one hour procedure. Usually, people just need a local anesthetic, or pain shot, to numb the area.
The dentist drills a small access hole into the first root canal. He carefully inserts several small files of increasing size into the chamber, debriding the infected material and smoothing the canal walls. He instills some antibiotics and seals the canal with elastic gutta percha.
As needed, Dr. Schaffeld repeats the procedure on other canals. He then covers the tooth with a temporary filling or dental crown.
At home, the patient eats a soft diet for a day or 2 and takes over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen for discomfort as needed. He or she returns to the dentist’s office to receive the crown.
Life after endodontics
A tooth restored with root canal therapy may serve the individual for life. Much depends on the strength of the remaining natural tooth structure and on the oral hygiene habits of the patient. As with any teeth, twice a day brushing and once a day flossing to remove plaque and limit tartar formation encourages longevity. Also, Dr. Schaffeld and his staff like to see all their patients–from kids through seniors–twice a year for hygienic cleanings and exams.
Are you concerned about a tooth?
If you are exhibiting any symptoms of dental abscess or have sustained an oral injury and think a tooth may be cracked, contact the offices of Tyler B. Schaffeld DMD right away for an appointment. The dentist and his team want all your smiles to be happy and healthy.
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