Restorative Dentistry Gives Root Canal Patients Healthier Teeth
Total Care Dental strives to provide only the best dental restoration treatments in Madison, WI. Root canal treatments (also referred to as endodontic therapy) are necessary when an untreated dental cavity reaches all the way to the pulp or if tooth trauma causes nerve damage. Once the pulp becomes infected, it can begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (known as an abscess). It may be painful and will require treatment as it cannot heal on its own.
Symptoms of a Root Canal
- Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweets
- Pain from biting or pressure
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the gums
- Pimple on the gums
- Bad taste in the mouth
Sometimes no symptoms are apparent, and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup. Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene habits are your best bet for preventing the need for a root canal.
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Root Canal Therapy in Madison
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The damaged nerve tissue or pulp has to be removed to prevent further infection, swelling, bone loss and drainage problems in the root. An alternative treatment would be to extract the tooth, but this is not usually recommended. Tooth extraction costs more than a root canal, takes a longer treatment time and requires additional procedures for the adjacent teeth and tissues.
Although root canals are said to be quite painful, many patients report treatment is no more painful than getting a filling. In fact, the tooth pain leading up to the root canal procedure is more painful than the treatment itself.
Root Canal Procedure
- X-ray to find out the extent of the infection and the shape of the root canals
- Local anesthesia numbs the area near the affected tooth
- A hole is drilled in the tooth
- Pulp, bacteria, decayed nerve tissue and other debris are removed using root canal files
- The canal is filled in, preventing any further infection
Some dentists prefer to seal the tooth in the same appointment, while others choose to wait a week and treat the tooth with medication to ensure the infection is gone. If the tooth is not sealed the same day, a temporary filling protects the hole in the meantime. Usually, a core build-up and dental crown are recommended by our Madison dentists for restoring a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy.
After your root canal, your tooth may be sensitive for a few days due to inflammation. Over-the-counter pain relievers should allow you to return to your normal daily activities the next day. If good oral hygiene is practiced at home in addition to regular dental visits, your restored tooth can remain healthy. There are many advantages to saving a natural tooth with root canal treatment including efficient chewing, natural appearance, normal biting sensation and it protects other teeth from extreme wear and staining.
Madison Family Dentist Can Prevent Root Canals
If you are having tooth pain, don’t wait, schedule a dental appointment to get your tooth checked. A small infection may only need a filling for treatment. Catching a problem before an infection spreads to the pulp of your tooth avoids the need for a root canal in the first place.
Once your tooth is infected, you need treatment as soon as possible. Failure to get a root canal can lead to more widespread infection in the rest of your mouth.
Root Canal Payment Plans
A painful infection should not be ignored because of financial concerns. Many Madison area patients believe they cannot afford root canal treatment without dental insurance. At Total Care Dental, this isn’t true. Our financial dental plans make everything from a root canal to a typical checkup affordable for everyone. We accept cash, personal check, credit cards, CareCredit, Illumisure and most major insurance plans.
Common Questions About Root Canals
Q: What is a root canal?
A: Root canal therapy is a minor, routine procedure designed to prevent further deterioration, restore functionality, improve aesthetic appearance and stabilize a tooth that has experienced some form of severe damage through abuse or years of normal wear and tear.
The source of the problem is usually a painful infection of the root canal area below the surface of the enamel. If left untreated or ignored, a more serious oral infection can form.
Q: What are signs I might need a root canal?
A: If you experience prolonged swelling of the jawline, discomfort or extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, seek attention immediately. General discomfort, discoloration of the tooth, or having a permanently bad taste in your mouth are also potential symptoms of an infection. The longer you wait, the less likely your procedure will be completely effective, or even possible.
Q: What are the benefits of getting a root canal?
A: If left untreated not only will a root canal infection get increasingly painful, an abscess can very quickly become life-threatening by entering the bloodstream and causing toxic shock. Antibiotics may suppress some of the symptoms temporarily, but do not cure the infected pulp.
A root canal utilizes a tooth crown to make the tooth appear, feel and function just like it did before infection. Without a root canal, tooth extraction may be unavoidable.
Q: How painful are root canals?
A: The root canal process can be uncomfortable. However, advancement in modern medicine and equipment has improved the process dramatically. TCD Madison’s dental professionals will work together with you to ensure the procedure is as painless and quick as possible. We also provide you with the proper tools and pain management advice for when you leave our office. Whatever your dental concern may be, our team will form a plan concerning pain treatment that is designed specifically for you based on your individual case.