Root canals are dental procedures in which dentists remove infected pulp from the inside root of a tooth. In an infected tooth, root canals are necessary to prevent pain, save the tooth from decaying, and stop the infection from spreading beyond the tooth and into the rest of the body.
Experienced Endodontist near Scranton, Pennsylvania
Dr. Charles Dennis is an endodontist – a dentist trained in treating the tissue inside teeth – who uses the latest technology and state-of-the-art equipment to perform root canals in just one or two visits. The procedure is relatively painless and highly effective, so you can quickly get back to chewing without pain.
When you need a root canal procedure near Scranton, call the Abington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry! Dr. Dennis is an expert endodontist who can perform your root canal perfectly and get you back to feeling like yourself.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal involves a dentist drilling into a tooth to remove inflamed or infected nerves and other pulp from the roots. Doing this usually clears up any pain and discomfort in the tooth.
Why Are Root Canals Necessary?
Dentists use root canals to remove infections from inside teeth. Bacteria and other foreign bodies can’t enter a fully intact tooth, but the risk begins after cavities or cracks have compromised the integrity of a tooth. Bacteria that invade a tooth through those breaks can cause inflammation and pain at the root.
If you leave this infection untreated, the tooth can decay, and the infection can spread to the rest of the body. A root canal is the solution. Removing the infected pulp from the tooth eliminates the infection and pain.
What Does a Root Canal Procedure Involve?
Root canals can take between 30 and 90 minutes for an endodontist to perform. The length of the procedure depends on the complexity of the infection. Root canals involve the following steps:
- 1. Local Anesthesia
Dr. Dennis will use a needle to numb the area around your tooth with a local anesthetic. This is to prevent pain and discomfort during the procedure.
- 2. Tooth Isolation
We’ll then isolate the infected tooth with a dental dam, which keeps the tooth dry during the root canal.
- 3. Drilling
Next, we’ll drill a small hole through the crown, or top, of your tooth so Dr. Dennis can reach the infected pulp inside.
- 4. Infection Removal
Using the drilled hole, we’ll clean out the infected pulp and nerve endings from inside the tooth.
- 5. Tooth Cleaning
Once the infected pulp is out of the way, Dr. Dennis will clean, disinfect, and manipulate the chambers inside the tooth to prepare them for sealing.
- 6. Filling
We’ll then use a flexible material called gutta-percha to fill the cavity in your tooth.
- 7. Permanent Sealing
The final step of a root canal is to seal off the tooth to prevent it from becoming reinfected. We do this with a permanent filling or a crown. Fillings are better for teeth that are still relatively intact, while crowns are more appropriate for capping teeth that have decayed.
An infected tooth can quickly become painful, especially if you don’t take care of it promptly. Some typical symptoms of an infected tooth include:
- Tooth soreness, especially while chewing
- Extreme tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Pus oozing around the tooth
- Unpleasant, salty taste in your mouth
- Painful throbbing in your mouth or jaw
- Swelling in face and cheeks
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Darkening tooth color
- Inflamed gums
- Bad breath
If you experience any of the symptoms of an infected tooth, it’s crucial to call Abington Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry as soon as possible. If you wait to treat it, the infection can get worse, and you risk losing your tooth and needing a root canal, dental implant, or another type of restorative dental procedure.
Note: If you’re experiencing problems with your breathing or swallowing, the emergency room may be the quickest way to get the help you need.
Will my tooth abscess go away on its own?
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus inside your tooth that a bacterial infection can cause. Unfortunately, tooth infections and abscesses do not go away on their own. Without proper treatment, you risk the infection spreading to other teeth and into your body. This can cause many health complications. We recommend you call the office as soon as you notice something is wrong to prevent further problems. We can perform an emergency dental procedure.
Are there any other treatment options?
If you decide against getting a root canal, you risk naturally losing your tooth, spreading infection, or having your tooth pulled. On the other hand, if you opt to get your tooth pulled, your teeth will naturally shift, and the missing area of the tooth can cause your jaw to weaken. This can cause problems with chewing and proper dental hygiene. That’s why we recommend attempting to save the tooth if possible.
Do root canals hurt?
Root canals, or endodontic therapy, tend to get a bad rep amongst patients who have heard that they are extremely painful. With today’s technology and advancements, root canals are no more painful than getting a filling. We use local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding area during the procedure. Since we clear the infected pulp and roots, you should experience less pain following surgery.
What Is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a special branch of dentistry that deals with infections, pain, and injuries within the tissue inside teeth. Endodontists treat this tissue and save teeth from decaying by performing procedures such as root canals.
What Is an Endodontist?
Tooth-saving root canals are possible here at the Abington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry because Dr. Dennis is a trained endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who has completed additional training to perform procedures that manage tooth pain, such as root canals.
Endodontists deal primarily with the root canals inside teeth, which is how the root canal procedure got its name. Not all dentists are endodontists, but the ones who have that additional training can treat just about any problem with your teeth!
How Do Endodontists Differ from Oral Surgeons?
Endodontists specialize in managing pain and infections in the pulp of your teeth. Oral surgeons can perform procedures more broadly in your mouth, jaw, and face.
Types of Endodontic Procedures
While root canals are a common type of endodontic procedure, they aren’t the only one. Other types include:
- Endodontic retreatment – repairs a tooth that we’ve treated before but that has become reinfected.
- Endodontic surgery – uses surgical methods, such as an apicoectomy, to remove infected pulp and other tissue from the most underlying part of a tooth, the root tip.
- Traumatic injury treatments – if a physical blow has damaged your tooth in any way, as can happen in sports, an endodontist can repair it. The method of repair varies based on the injury, but rest assured that we have a solution to everything!
- Dental implants – metal pieces that we embed in the space of a missing tooth to act as the original roots. We then place a crown over the implant so you can chew properly and maintain a regular smile!
Contact Us for an Expert Dental Root Canal
If you experience any symptoms of an infected tooth or trauma to your mouth, call us at Abington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. Dr. Dennis is an expert at performing root canal procedures in the Scranton, PA, area, so you’ll be getting the best possible care. Call to schedule an appointment, or use the online booking system.