Root canals are a common dental procedure designed to treat the inner pulp of a tooth that’s been infected or damaged. At Altoona Smiles, our skilled doctors are dedicated to providing you with a pain-free and comfortable experience, ensuring the health and longevity of your tooth.
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that treats the soft tissues inside your teeth, also known as the pulp when it becomes inflamed or diseased. This simple procedure works to remove these infected tissues from the inside of your teeth and help prevent the onset of other problems, including cavities and gum disease, to other areas of your mouth. Root canal procedures are painless, and with the help of our dentists at Altoona Smiles, we can help preserve your tooth and keep your mouth healthy and clean.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might need a root canal:
- Persistent pain when eating or drinking.
- Swelling or tenderness in the gums near a tooth.
- Darkening or discoloration of the tooth.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers.
- Pimple on the gums (dental abscess).
- Toothache that wakes you at night.
Why is a Root Canal Needed?
When the inner part of the tooth, known as the pulp, becomes infected or damaged, it can result in severe pain and swelling. Without treatment, the infection can spread, potentially leading to tooth loss or other health complications. A root canal removes the infected pulp, alleviates the pain, and saves your natural tooth, allowing you to chew and bite efficiently.
How Root Canal Procedures Eliminate Dental Pain
Root canal procedures are an alternative option to tooth extractions. This form of treatment focuses on the inner workings of the tooth to resolve dental pain, gum swelling, and tenderness often associated with an infected tooth canal. Infected root canals often result from cavities, as the enamel becomes thin enough that the bacteria begins to infect the inner tooth itself. Our pulp acts as the lifeforce of the tooth, containing many blood vessels and nerve endings that help our teeth sense pain and temperatures associated with our food. During these stages of infection, it’s important to get treatment, as the infection can spread to other teeth and cause multi-stage necrotic pulp and eventual tooth loss.
However, having a root canal procedure can help clean out the infection and preserve the outer tooth itself, keeping it intact and preserving your smile. Root canal procedures are one of the best ways to relieve tooth pain and are a painless procedure that prevents the onset of dental problems in the future.
Root Canal Treatment Process at Altoona Smiles
Under the guidance of our professional team of dentists, we can perform root canals under the following procedures:
- Diagnosis and Planning: Before the procedure begins, our team will diagnose your tooth problem through the use of x-rays, CBCT technology, and intraoral scans to observe the inside of your tooth and determine whether the infection lies.
- Local Anesthesia: Once we schedule an appointment for your root canal procedure, we will administer local anesthesia to prevent the onset of pain during the procedure. This allows us to work within the inner canals of the tooth, and by using the dental dam, we can also control moisture levels and potential bacteria debris that may affect the tooth.
- Tooth Opened: The tooth is then opened using our traditional rotary instruments, where the tooth’s cap is drilled open that then internally cleaned using an irrigation system.
- Filling The Tooth: Once the canals are completely cleared of bacteria and debris, the tooth cap is then filled with gutta-percha to protect the inside of the tooth from reinfection.
- Temporary Outer Cap: Once sealed with gutta-percha, the tooth is then covered with a temporary ceramic cap to protect the tooth during the healing process. Once a permanent restoration is fabricated, our team will replace the temporary cap with a crown to make sure the tooth lasts.
Our Root Canal Treatments at Altoona Smiles
Root canal treatments are an excellent way for us to treat infected teeth and works to help preserve your natural tooth, giving your smile ever-lasting benefits. For more information about our root canal procedures and our other treatment options for tooth pain, contact our practice today to arrange a dental appointment with our team at Altoona Smiles.
While root canals are effective treatments, prevention is always better. Here are some steps to minimize the chances of needing one:
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush and floss regularly.
- Visit your dentist at Altoona Smiles for regular check-ups.
- Avoid consuming too many sugary foods and drinks.
- Wear a mouthguard during sports to protect against dental injuries.
After a root canal at Altoona Smiles, most patients experience relief from pain and improved dental health. With proper care, a tooth that’s had a root canal can last a lifetime. It’s essential to follow the Altoona Team’s post-procedure instructions and attend any recommended follow-up visits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a root canal painful?
A: With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients find root canal treatments to be as comfortable as getting a filling. At Altoona Smiles, we prioritize your comfort and use the latest methods to ensure a pain-free experience.
Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: The duration of a root canal procedure varies depending on the tooth and the extent of the damage. Typically, it can take between 60 to 90 minutes, but more complex cases might require additional appointments.
Q: What’s the recovery period like?
A: Post-procedure, you might experience some tenderness or mild discomfort, which usually subsides within a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to manage any discomfort.
Q: How long will the treated tooth last?
A: With proper care and regular dental check-ups, a tooth that’s undergone a root canal can last a lifetime. However, it’s often recommended to crown the treated tooth to provide added strength and protection.
Q: Is there an alternative to a root canal?
A: The primary alternative to a root canal is extracting the affected tooth. However, saving your natural tooth is usually the best option, as it allows for efficient chewing, maintains natural tooth alignment, and upholds the aesthetic of your smile.
Your Smile, Our Commitment
Your dental health is our top priority at Altoona Smiles. If you believe you may need a root canal or have any concerns about your oral health, don’t hesitate. Ensure your teeth are in the best hands and call us at 515-200-1299 or request an appointment online.