Root Canal Treatment in Middleboro, MA
Are you feeling an increased sensitivity to heat and cold in your mouth? Whether it’s coming from a tooth or your gums, pain is usually a sign of infection, which, left untreated, could develop into something much worse. Thankfully, with help from the team at our family-friendly dental clinic, it’s easy to stay on top of your family’s oral health care needs.
For years, our staff has helped locals detect and treat severe oral infections. These types of infections often require a professional root canal treatment; in Middleboro, MA, you can secure the gentle car you need at our office. Reach out today to schedule your appointment – we recommend you do so sooner, rather than later, to ensure your infection doesn’t worsen and become more painful.Root canal treatment — also called endodontics (“endo” – inside, “dont” – tooth) — is a set of specialized procedures designed to treat problems of the soft pulp (nerve) tissue inside the tooth. While some mistakenly think of it as an unusually painful treatment, in most cases the procedure is no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. It's actually one of the most effective ways of relieving some kinds of tooth pain.
A root canal procedure becomes necessary when infection or inflammation develops in the pulp tissue of the tooth. Pulp tissue consists of blood vessels, connective tissue and nerve cells — which explains why a problem here may cause you to feel intense pain. In time, the pain may go away... at least temporarily. Without treatment, however, the infection won't. It can lead to a dental abscess, and may even contribute to systemic problems in other parts of the body.
What Is a Root Canal Treatment?
Understanding the term “root canal” is important if you are told you need one. “Root canal” refers to the chamber within your tooth that is home to blood vessels, nerves, and dental pulp. When an infection starts in your tooth, it can quickly become severe, leading to the degradation of that chamber. The root of the tooth turns to pulp and becomes inflamed, causing pain throughout that area in your mouth.
Generally, the only way to remedy this situation is with a root canal treatment from a dentist. A dentist from our clinic has the experience and qualifications needed to cleanse your tooth’s root canal of all dangerous and pain-causing infection.
Root Canal Treatment Is Your Friend
We've all heard the gag: “I'd rather have a root canal...” This comedy line, comparing the procedure to something truly undesirable, may be funny — but putting off needed endodontic treatment is no joke. The idea that a root canal procedure invariably comes with complications and pain is a shopworn myth. It's certainly true that infection or inflammation in the tooth's pulp can be excruciatingly painful. But you should remember that having a root canal results in eliminating this acute pain and is not the cause of the pain.
Need another reason not to delay root canal treatment? How about this: A natural tooth that's saved via root canal treatment and restoration helps you avoid the problems that commonly occur when teeth must be removed. These include unwanted tooth migration or shifting, which can lead to difficulties in chewing; the need for bridgework or dental implants, which may be costly and complicated; and even the eventual loss of bone structure from the area of the missing tooth.
Causes of Root Canal Problems
Root canal problems stem from infection and inflammation of the tooth's pulp tissue. One potential cause of infection is deep tooth decay. Untreated dental cavities eventually allow bacteria to work their way down to the center of the tooth, where they may infect the pulp tissue. Another path by which bacteria may come into contact with pulp is via chipped or cracked teeth. Any opening in the protective enamel coating has the potential to allow bacteria access to the tooth's pulp.
Trauma to the tooth — the kind that might result from a sports injury or automobile accident, for example — is also a major cause of pulp tissue damage. In this case, it's essential to seek treatment immediately, both to try and save the tooth, and to prevent future problems.
In some cases, extensive dental work itself may cause damage to the pulp tissue that will need to be treated via a root canal. Having multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth increases the chances of this type of injury. Occasionally, common procedures like crown preparation or orthodontics may eventually lead to root canal problems.
What to Expect During Root Canal Therapy
If an examination shows that you do need root canal therapy, don't worry — it's one of the most routine and effective procedures in the arsenal of dental treatments and can often be accomplished in just one visit.
The root canal process generally begins the same way as a filling does, and with no greater discomfort: an anesthetic is administered to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. For many patients, the worst is already over.
Next, a small opening is made in the surface of the affected tooth to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals. Tiny instruments are used, sometimes with the aid of a microscope, to remove the dead and dying pulp tissue from inside these narrow passageways. The chamber and empty canals are then cleaned, disinfected, and prepared to receive a filling of inert, biocompatible material. Finally, adhesive cement is used to seal the opening in the tooth, preventing future infection.
Following root canal treatment, your tooth may feel some sensitivity or tenderness for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are generally effective in relieving discomfort, but prescription medications may also be given if needed. During this period, it may help to avoid biting hard on the affected tooth. All of these symptoms, however, should be temporary.
To further protect the tooth and restore it to full function, it's usually necessary to have a crown or other restoration placed on it. Restorations can take many forms, from traditional gold crowns to tooth replicas made of high-tech tooth-colored material. In any case, you will have made an investment in preserving your dental health for years to come.
Signs and Symptoms of Root Canal Problems
How do you know when you need a root canal? Sometimes, it's painfully obvious. If you feel constant and severe pain and pressure in your mouth, or noticeable swelling and extreme sensitivity in your gums, then it's clear you need an evaluation and treatment right away. Another telltale symptom of pulp tissue damage is sharp pain when you bite down on food. Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods is also an indication of potential trouble. If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to have an examination as soon as possible.
Make the Right Choice for Your Smile
You can rely on our dental practice for pain-free root canal procedure. The pain you are experiencing now is the pain associated with the infection itself. The longer you wait to seek professional assistance with your infection, the more likely you are to experience pain. Get in touch with our clinic as soon as you notice signs of an infection to avoid discomfort.
Not sure whether you have an infection? Your best option is to schedule an exam at our clinic. There, we’ll use the most advanced equipment to detect and diagnose any oral health issues you may be experiencing. However, if you’re looking for signs that you need to visit our practice, the following are just some that indicated you need to make an appointment soon:
- Gum Pain
- Tooth Pain
- Unpleasant Oral Odors
- Temperature Sensitivity
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