Beautiful Smiles for a Beautiful New Mexico
Boyd Newsome, DMD
Wesley Hanchett, DDS
Root Canals in Albuquerque, NM
Root canals can help you get out of pain caused by infection and can allow us to save your natural tooth!
The term “root canal” on its own can cause sweaty palms and panic in some people. Armed with a bit of knowledge, however, root canals can be a lot less scary. Let’s take a quick look at what they are and how to know when you may need help.
The tooth has a hollow center that contains something called pulp, which is a sensitive tissue comprising blood vessels and nerves that supply nutrients, oxygen, and sensation to the tooth. The space occupied by the pulp in the root of the tooth is known as the root canal.
Tooth decay can lead to the inflammation or infection of the pulp. Trauma or extensive restoration may also cause pulp infection or inflammation. The inflamed pulp can result in a toothache.
If the pulp dies, the space will end up being infected with bacteria. This can cause swelling and pain in the surrounding tissues. That’s where root canal treatment comes in handy.
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the pulp and nerves and then protecting it by cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth. Afterward, a crown is placed over the treated tooth to strengthen it.
How to Know If You Need Root a Canal
Only a dental professional can tell you if you need a root canal. You may even need an X-ray. Nonetheless, if you have a tooth that’s persistently painful, it’s likely that something is seriously wrong. Here are common signs that an infected tooth may need a root canal:
- A discolored tooth
- Painful tooth whenever you chew or bite down
- A tooth that is too sensitive to cold or hot
- Swollen gums around a hurting tooth
- A persistent sore on the gums
You should realize that root canals are usually not offered if the tooth is loose or if just a small amount of tooth is left. The treatment may not work effectively in these cases.
How Root Canal is Done
An inflamed or infected pulp can result from several factors, including:
- Deep tooth decay
- Faulty crowns
- Repeated treatment procedures on a tooth
- Chips or cracks in the tooth
You shouldn’t wait too long to have a root canal treatment after you discover an infection or inflammation in your tooth pulp. Otherwise, the problem can progress into a more serious complication that would be harder and more costly to treat.
The root canal procedure is designed to be painless and comfortable for the patient. Local anesthesia will be administered to ensure the procedure goes on with minimal discomfort. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your dentist or endodontist will remove the top of the infected tooth to gain access to the infected root canals.
He will then carefully remove the infected or inflamed pulp and clean the inside of the tooth. Afterward, the hollow space will be filled and sealed with a rubber-like substance known as “gutta-percha.” Lastly, the treated tooth will be topped with a crown or permanent filling to enhance its strength and protect it against decay.
If this is your first time having a root canal, you might be worried about whether or not your tooth will function as usual. The primary goal of root canal treatment is to eliminate the infection inside the tooth and return it to its original state. That means you should expect to continue speaking and eating as usual after you’ve undergone a successful root canal procedure.
Caring For Your Treated Tooth
The treated tooth is now completely dead following the removal of the pulp and nerves, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be cared for. It still needs proper dental care. It’s essential, therefore, to continue brushing and flossing the tooth as usual. Otherwise, you may end up dealing with periodontal disease.
Also, you should be cautious when biting on hard objects. The tooth may be strong enough for daily functions, but the absence of nerves means you might bite harder than intended. This may result in tooth fracturing.
The Risks Involved in Root Canal Treatments
Like all other dental procedures, root canal treatments pose some risk. While it’s rare, there could be complications. As a result of these complications, you may need to undergo additional treatment or to see a specialist. In some cases, the tooth may end up being extracted altogether.
You should always attend regular dental check-ups to ensure no potential dental problems go undetected. It’s worth noting; however, that root canals are very successful in most cases.
Nonetheless, you should not hesitate to contact your dentist if you notice any unusual problems after a root canal procedure.
If you think you need root canal treatment, get in touch with Riverpoint Family, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry. You’ll get all your dental concerns addressed and your questions answered by experienced dental experts.
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Riverpoint Family, Cosmetic,
& Implant Dentistry
4421 Irving Blvd NW, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Office: (505) 821-6910
Fax: (505) 792-5771
Monday - Thursday: 7:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Fridays: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM