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Do I Need a Root Canal? Advice from Your Bloomfield NJ Dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry
X-ray of a tooth needing root canal

Do I Need A Root Canal?

As a general dentist with years of experience, one of the common questions I get from patients is – do I need a root canal? While root canal treatment has been around for over a century, many people still have misconceptions about it. In this article, we’ll explore what root canal treatment entails and when it may be necessary.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment (RCT) is a dental procedure that involves removing diseased or damaged pulp from the inside of a tooth. The pulp is made up of nerves and blood vessels that provide nourishment to the tooth. When it becomes infected or inflamed due to decay or injury, it can cause severe pain and swelling.

During RCT, your dentist will numb the affected area before making an opening in the crown of your tooth to access the pulp chamber. They will then use specialized instruments to remove all traces of damaged pulp before cleaning and shaping the inside of your tooth. Once they are satisfied that all debris has been removed, they will fill in the space with gutta-percha (a rubber-like material) before sealing off your tooth with either a filling or crown.

Signs You May Need RCT

So how do you know if you need RCT? Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Persistent Pain – If you have constant throbbing pain in one particular tooth that doesn’t go away even after taking painkillers, it could be an indication that there’s something wrong with its nerve.
  2. Sensitivity – If eating hot or cold foods causes sudden sharp pain in one specific area of your mouth, this could also indicate nerve damage.
  3. Discoloration – A discolored tooth could be caused by an infection within its roots which requires RCT as part of the treatment.
  4. Swelling – Swelling of your gums, face or neck is another sign that you may need RCT as it could be an indication of an infected tooth.
  5. Cracked Tooth – If you have a cracked tooth, bacteria can enter and infect the pulp, leading to pain and swelling.

Risk Factors

While anyone can develop a dental infection or injury that requires RCT, there are some factors that can increase your risk:

  1. Poor Dental Hygiene – Not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to decay and gum disease which require RCT in severe cases.
  2. Trauma – A blow to the face or mouth from sports injury or accident can damage teeth leading to root canal treatment.
  3. Previous Dental Work – Teeth with large fillings or crowns are more susceptible to infection which may require RCT.
  4. Genetics – Some people may be more prone to dental problems due to their genetics making root canal treatment necessary for them at some point in their lives.

The Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment has several benefits including:

1.Pain relief – One of the most significant benefits is getting rid of severe pain caused by nerve damage inside your tooth once it has been removed during the procedure.

2.Saves the Tooth – Instead of extracting a damaged tooth, root canal therapy allows you to keep your natural teeth for proper chewing ability and maintaining facial structure.

3.Prevents Future Problems – After successful completion of root canal therapy the infection will be eradicated and this can prevent future complications.

4.Cost-effective – Compared with alternative treatments like implants, root canal therapy is less expensive; thus making it affordable for most people

5.Long-lasting Results – With proper oral hygiene practices such as regular brushing and flossing after post-RCT healing period one’s treated teeth will last for many years.

The Procedure

I always tell my patients that RCT is a straightforward and relatively painless procedure. It typically takes between one to three appointments depending on the severity of the damage or infection. During your initial consultation, I will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth before recommending RCT if necessary.

Before starting the procedure, we’ll numb the affected area with local anesthesia to ensure you remain as comfortable as possible throughout. After removing any decay or damaged tissue, we’ll clean and shape your root canals before filling them with a biocompatible material that seals off the canal.

Once I’m satisfied that all debris has been removed from within your tooth’s roots and pulp chamber, I will fill it in with gutta-percha before sealing it off permanently using a filling or crown restoration depending on how much of your natural tooth structure remains intact.

Aftercare Tips

After completing RCT treatment at True Dental Care Bloomfield NJ clinic there are some after-care tips you should follow:

  1. Avoid chewing hard foods for several days after treatment.
  2. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing regularly.
  3. Follow up appointments – attend follow-up visits so that Dr. Cohen can monitor the healing progress.
  4. Medications – Taking prescribed medication as directed would also be important during the post-procedure recovery period.
  5. Avoid smoking – Smoking slows down healing which could lead to complications.
  6. Seek Dental Help – If you experience pain or swelling after root canal therapy contact our office immediately for further assistance.

In Conclusion

If you have persistent pain in one particular tooth accompanied by swelling or discoloration or sensitivity when eating hot/cold foods, then it could be time for a visit to my office at your local Dentist in Bloomfield NJ clinic for an evaluation. Root Canal Treatment is often necessary for saving an infected tooth than extracting it. At True Dental Care, we are committed to helping you maintain your oral health and to providing quality dental care to all our patients.

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