Root canals save teeth that would otherwise be lost to infection and decay. During root canals Dr. Killian removes decay and damaged tooth nerves, cleans the interior of the tooth and then seals the tooth to prevent further infection.
Symptoms of Infected Root Canals
People often think of root canals as painful dental services, but the reality is the procedure usually causes no more discomfort than a filling. Symptoms of infection, however, can be very painful.
A common cause of infection to the tooth pulp is tooth damage. Tooth decay, facial trauma and cracks or chips in teeth can all lead to root infection. Teeth with large fillings and teeth that have had extensive dental work are also susceptible to damage or infection.
Some root canal problems cause no noticeable symptoms and are only detected during routine dental services or X-rays. Other infected root canals, however, can cause significant discomfort, producing symptoms such as:
- Abscesses (pus-filled pockets)
- Bone deterioration at the root tip
- Gum tenderness and swelling
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Severe tooth pain resulting from chewing, biting or grinding teeth
- Swelling of the face, neck or head
- Tooth discoloration
Root canals can also cause a recurring pimple to develop on the gum and lead to drainage. An infected tooth can drain through a hole in the tooth, into the gums or into the cheek. If the tooth drains into the cheek, skin damage can result.
Treating Root Canals
A root canal procedure takes two or three dental appointments. A dental X-ray reveals the shape of the root canal. You receive local anesthetic around the affected tooth, and Dr. Killian places a rubber dam to isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth.
Then Dr. Killian drills a small entry hole in the tooth and removes pulp, nerve tissue, bacteria and debris using root canal files. The files scrub the inside of the tooth clear of debris. During the procedure water or sodium hypochlorite rinses debris away.
If infection is an issue, Dr. Killian will pack the clean tooth with medication and seal the tooth with a temporary filling. After a few days you return to our office for your second appointment, when Dr. Killian fills the now empty root canal with sealer paste and rubber compound. A small filling seals the entry hole, preventing further infection.
Sometimes teeth need extra dental services after a root canal. If the tooth is weak and likely to crack, further dental service may include a crown to strengthen the tooth and restore normal function.
Root Canal Results
The procedure has a 95 percent success rate. As with other oral surgery procedures, however, complications occasionally develop. The tooth may develop another infection if any material remains in the tooth cavity, if cracks in the tooth develop or if the dental restoration breaks down over time. However, such complications are rare. With proper oral hygiene and dental care, your fixed tooth can last a lifetime.
Although root canals remove the nerve, the tooth may be sensitive to heat or cold for a few days after the procedure and tissue around the tooth may be tender or inflamed. Over-the-counter pain medication provides relief from temporary inflammation. If you experience pain after a few days, please contact our office.
Quality Dental Services in Carlisle, PA
If you live in Carlisle, PA and experience tooth pain, we can help. Dr. Killian offers top-of-the-line dental services backed up by caring and friendly office staff.
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