Avoid Tooth Extraction with Root Canal Therapy
When untreated decay extends to the inside of your tooth, it can cause pain, swelling, and infection. In the most severe cases, infection in the roots of your teeth can spread to the surrounding bone and gum tissue and result in tooth loss. Rather than delaying treatment and risking tooth loss, root canal therapy can help you return an infected tooth to its healthy state and avoid costly tooth replacement treatments. Dr. Chadwick J. Harris and Dr. R. Brent Culpepper can usually complete root canal therapy within a single appointment at their Laurel, MS, practice. Although root canal treatment is incorrectly perceived as a painful dental procedure, we use gentle techniques and can provide nitrous oxide or oral medication if you are anxious about the procedure.
The Truth about Root Canal Therapy
Although root canal treatment has earned a bad reputation as a fearsome dental procedure, the reality is that root canal therapy relieves tooth and mouth pain, and does not cause it. If you are anxious about treatment, we can provide nitrous oxide or oral medication to help you relax during your procedure. Root canal therapy offers several benefits for patients including:
- Tooth preservation: Dentists are typically in favor of saving your natural tooth through root canal therapy than performing a tooth extraction.
- Cost savings: Root canal treatment is usually partially or fully covered by insurance. Root canal therapy is more cost-effective than replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant and custom dental crown.
- Improved function: An infected tooth can cause pain and difficulty while chewing. Root canal therapy can help you enjoy your natural bite force once again.
- Improved appearance: Decayed teeth or inflamed gums can interrupt the aesthetics of your smile. Root canal therapy will include placement of a dental crown, which helps strengthen your tooth and has stunning, lifelike qualities.
Though many patients are apprehensive about root canal treatment, the procedure is highly successful and can help save your teeth for a lifetime.
Do You Require Root Canal Therapy?
Cracks, fractures, injury, and extensive decay can spread to the inside of your tooth, also known as the endodontic structures. When this happens, the soft tissues inside the tooth roots become inflamed and eventually infected. When left untreated, this infection causes pain or groups of infection known as abscesses. Although an infected tooth is not always accompanied by visible symptoms, some signs that you may need root canal treatment include:
- Difficulty chewing
- Tooth discoloration
- Swollen or tender gums
- Jaw pain
Without treatment, these symptoms will gradually worsen. Root canal therapy can help save your tooth before it falls out or requires an extraction. Patients should visit our office as soon as painful symptoms are present.
The Procedure Root Canal Therapy
In order to determine whether root canal therapy is the best treatment for you, we will first conduct x-rays and view the extent of your infection. If it is decided that root canal treatment is the best solution, on the day of your procedure one of our doctors will:
- Apply a local anesthetic: Our team will numb the treatment area to reduce any discomfort. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we also have nitrous oxide and oral sedation available.
- Open the tooth structure: In order to access the infection, we will create a small opening in the tooth. A rubber material will be placed over the treatment area to protect saliva or debris from entering the space.
- Remove pulp and disinfect the root canals: Using special tools, we will clean out the infection from the inside of the tooth and root canals.
- Seal the root canals: Your root canals will be filled with a material called gutta-percha to prevent further infection.
- Place your crown: We try to complete root canal treatment in one appointment and can usually place your permanent dental crown on the same day of your procedure.
Most patients report feeling mild sensitivity in the days following their root canal procedure, but this should subside over time.
Call Harris Dental Clinic Today
Treating an infected tooth with root canal therapy can help save you money on future treatments including tooth extraction and required follow-up restorative dentistry. Though many patients are apprehensive about root canal treatment, the procedure is highly successful and can help save your teeth for a lifetime. Find relief from your painful symptoms by calling Harris Dental Clinic at (601) 649-3344 or sending us a message.