Common sense tells us our teeth should not be painful or sensitive. In fact, these symptoms indicate something is wrong inside a tooth, but do the signs mean you need Lansing root canal therapy? John J. Hagerty DDS and Tristen Smith DDS, your Lansing dentists, determine when a root canal, or endodontic therapy, is necessary.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy is a simple restorative dental treatment which removes the soft innervated pulp in the one to 4 interior tooth chambers. This pulp plays an important developmental function, but as it matures, the pulp is no longer necessary. With root canal therapy from his Lansing dentist, the patient retains a functioning and normal-looking tooth indefinitely, relieving pain and infection. The treated tooth looks perfectly natural, too.
Signs you need it
In general, if your tooth hurts, something is wrong. Symptoms of hot and cold sensitivity, throbbing pain, redness or a blemish at the gum line, bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth usually mean infection resulting from deep dental decay, a failing restoration or oral injury and fracture. Root canal therapy by your dentist in Lansing removes the infected connective tissue, nerves and blood supply within the tooth, thus curing inflammation and infection.
While most infected teeth exhibit noticeable symptoms, some show very mild signs or occasionally, nothing at all. That’s why routine exams and cleanings at Hagerty Dentistry remain your best insurance against serious dental issues.
The Lansing root canal procedure
Dr. Hagerty visually inspects the tooth in question and also takes digital x-rays to determine if root canal therapy could restore it to full health and function. If that is the case, he begins with a simple pain shot to numb the area and places a protective rubber dam around to tooth to quell the spread of bacteria.
He drills a hole into the first root canal and using several tiny dental files, removes the pulp and smooths the inside of the canal. He rinses the area and instills antibiotics to cure the inflammation and infection. Using an elastic filler, gutta-percha, Dr. Hagerty seals the canal. He proceeds to the other chambers as needed, finishing with a temporary filling.
At home, the root canal patient takes over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen for mild discomfort and eats a soft diet for a day or 2. He returns to Hagerty Dentistry in a week to 10 days to receive a customized porcelain crown for his restored tooth.
For the long term…
Root canal therapy relieves pain and infection, is relatively quick and comfortable and preserves ailing teeth for many years of service. Patients simply care for their restored teeth with twice a day brushing, daily flossing and semi-annual check-ups and cleanings with their Lansing dentist.
If you have dental pain…
Be sure to contact Hagerty Dentistry right away for an evaluation. Root canal therapy saves teeth and relieves pain. Call today.