Each year, millions of teeth are treated and saved through root canal treatment. Root canals are can relieve any pain patients may be experiencing and help them achieve healthy teeth. At Bliss Dental, Dr. Andy Gaertner often perform root canals to patients in South Florida who could benefit from a saved tooth. He ensures patients are as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure and takes great pride in assisting them in finding the relief they deserve.
When Root Canals are Necessary
When the pulp inside of the root canal experiences inflammation or infection, a root canal is usually necessary. Dr. Gaertner may suggest a root canal to patients who are suffering from deep dental decay, faulty crowns, cracked or chipped teeth, or repeated dental procedures in the teeth.
Left untreated, pulp inflammation or infection can lead to serious pain and an abscess. A root canal can help patients maintain their natural smiles, continue eating their favorite foods, and reduce their need for ongoing dental work.
Benefits of Root Canals
There are a number of benefits patients can enjoy after undergoing a root canal. First and foremost, root canals can help them alleviate persistent pain from an infected tooth. During a root canal, the nerve of the tooth is removed so that it will no longer cause pain. A few days after undergoing a root canal, patients will notice their infected tooth pain is no longer present.
A root canal can also stop infection. Since infection can spread into the bone and into other teeth, sinuses, or the brain, it’s important to undergo root canal therapy and protect a patient’s health from harmful bacteria.
In addition, a root canal can allow a patient to preserve their tooth. Rather than removing a tooth and leaving a gap, Dr. Gaertner prefers to perform a root canal so that a patient can keep their natural tooth.
Since infected teeth are often very discolored, a root canal can restore a patient’s smile and ensure that an infected tooth doesn’t take a toll on their appearance. In the event their infected tooth does become discolored, Dr. Gaertner may recommend covering it with a dental crown so that it receives an attractive, new exterior.
Good Candidates for Root Canal Treatment
Unfortunately, the signs a patient may need a root canal aren’t always apparent until their dental pulp has already weakened their tooth. Most candidates for root canal treatment notice several symptoms that may signify infection and the need for a root canal. These symptoms include tooth discoloration, swollen and tender gums near the area of infection, a recurring pimple on the gums, severe toothache when chewing, or tooth sensitivity when exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
Patients who experience any of these symptoms are encouraged to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaertner right way so he can determine whether they are in need of a root canal.
The Root Canal Procedure
Once Dr. Gaertner has suggested a root canal treatment, a patient will go ahead and schedule it and take antibiotics for several days before. The antibiotics will help their body fight off infection and ensure that the anesthetics used before the procedure are more effective.
When it’s time for their root canal, Dr. Gaertner will inject a local anesthetic into the nerve near the injected tooth. In a few minutes, the tooth will become numb and he will apply a plastic or foam sheet over the tooth to isolate it from other teeth. He may place cotton rolls in a patient’s mouth to absorb saliva and keep a dry work area.
Next, Dr. Gaertner will use a drill to create an opening in the center of the patient’s tooth. At this time, the patient may notice some vibrations but should not experience any pain. The goal will be to make the opening deep enough to allow the dentist to access the soft tissues within the roots of the tooth. As soon as the opening is deep enough, Dr. Gaertner will use special tools to scrape and remove the tooth pulp from the roots. He will also use a sanitizer to kill any bacteria.
Lastly, Dr. Gaertner will use a rubbery material to fill the empty tooth roots and fill the opening with composite resin or metal amalgam, like he would if he was filling a cavity. In most cases, Dr. Gaertner will cover the tooth with a temporary crown and ask a patient to return for a second appointment so that a permanent crown can be secured in place. The crown is intended to protect the patient’s weakened tooth from cracks, further decay, and other damage.
Recovering From a Root Canal
Recovering from a root canal is easy. If a patient has a temporary crown, Dr. Gaertner will suggest they stay away from consuming foods that are excessively sticky or crunchy until they receive their permanent crown. Although patients should not feel any pain during the recovery process, they may face minor sensitivity to hot or cold, which should fade within a few weeks.
Patients may need to use a sensitivity toothpaste and take antibiotics for several days after root canal treatment. Caring for tooth that has been treated with a root canal involves brushing and flossing around it regularly and visiting the dentist regularly for checkups. Root canals usually last forever but if decay does appear, patients may require a tooth extraction and implant replacement.
How to Prevent the Need for Root Canals
While root canals are great options for patients who are facing infected or inflamed teeth, Bliss Dental promotes preventative dental care and likes to educate patients on how they can prevent the need for root canals in the future,.
The best way to prevent root canal treatment is to brush and floss the teeth properly to keep bacteria at bay and prevent gum disease and decay that could lead to abscess down the road. Dr. Gaertner recommends brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with a soft bristled toothpaste and special anti-cavity toothpaste. Patients should also floss daily and pack floss with them if they are frequently on the go.
Visiting Dr. Gaertner every six months or so for regular dental exams and cleaning is also highly encouraged. He can ensure that if there is tooth decay or gum disease, it is detected early and abscess can be stopped in its tracks.
Patients should also contact our South Florida office right away if they notice any symptoms of decay such as bleeding after brushing or flossing, redness in the gums, increased gum sensitivity, lingering bad breath, and sensitivity to hot and cold. The longer they allow these symptoms to continue, the higher their chances are for developing an abscess.
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal Treatment
What is endodontics?
A branch of dentistry that focuses on diseases of the pulp and its supporting structures is known as endodontics. Endodontics spend two or more years after dental school on root canal training. They are also experienced at finding the root cause of oral and facial pain.
What symptoms warrant a root canal?
Visible injury or swelling surrounding the tooth, sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, and pain in the tooth and gums may be signs that a root canal is necessary. Fractured or cracked teeth may also require root canal therapy.
Do root canals hurt?
Root canals have developed a reputation for causing pain. However, the truth is that root canals relieve pain instead of cause it. At Bliss Dental, we make your comfort our top priority and ensure to perform root canals in a way that causes minimal to no discomfort.
What are the alternatives to root canal therapy?
Bliss Dental strives to perform a root canal whenever possible so that an infection does not spread to your gums and jawbone. The alternatives to this treatment are to leave the tooth or have it extracted.
Why is a root canal a better option that a tooth extraction?
If possible, it’s best to save your teeth. While artificial teeth look and function like real teeth, they can’t completely replace your natural teeth. By undergoing root canal treatment, you can treat teeth with damaged pulp and reduce your risk of serious complications down the road.
Will my tooth be sensitive after treatment?
Many patients do report their teeth feeling tender after undergoing a root canal. If you experience tooth sensitivity after a root canal, rest assured that this is normal and will go away in a few days once your body completes the natural healing process. If you’d like, you can take over-the-counter medications to ease any discomfort you may be facing.
Are root canals expensive?
It’s less expensive and less invasive to save your tooth through a root canal than to extract it and replace it with an implant or bridge. Our team will be happy to work with you to design a customized payment plan that works well with your budget and needs. We believe that finances should never get in the way of you receiving the dental treatments necessary to achieve optimal oral health.
Why can’t antibiotics make abscess go away?
When a tooth is infected, the pulp running through it is also affected. Therefore, there is no way to conduct the antibiotics to the necessary area. While antibiotics can’t make abscess go away, they can control and eliminate infection in the surrounding bone before and after you undergo root canal treatment.
Will I need additional treatment after a root canal?
Most tooth treated with a root canal last as long as other natural teeth. On occasion, however, the teeth may become painful or diseased months or years after treatment. If this occurs, contact Dr. Gaertner right away so that can perform an endodontic retreatment.
Why Choose Bliss Dental for Root Canal Therapy
Dr. Gaertner of Bliss Dental is an endodontist with significant training and experience in root canal training. He spent an addition few years after graduating from dental school receiving specialized training in root canal therapy. He know just how uncomfortable tooth pain and abscess can be and is committed to helping each and every patient find relief.
If you make the wise decision to trust Dr. Gaertner for your root canal treatment, you can expect him to be there for you to answer any questions or address any concerns before, during, and after treatment. He will ensure you feel as comfortable as possible during the procedure and serve as an invaluable dental resource in years to come.
Contact Bliss Dental For More Information About Root Canal Treatment
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain or showing any signs that may indicate the need for root canal treatment, we encourage you to contact our office at your earliest convenience. Call (305) 274-6500 or fill out our online contact form today. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve optimal oral health.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
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