Root Canal Therapy – Mt. Pleasant, SC
Relieve Pain With Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth contain several layers: the outer protective enamel, a secondary layer of sensitive dentin, and an inner pulp that contains components commonly referred to as the “nerve” of the tooth. Each pulp chamber branches off, forming canals that lead toward the tooth root tip. These infamous root canals provide a means for the tooth to absorb what it needs from the blood and get rid of toxins or other unnecessary materials via the blood stream. A deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture can make the canal susceptible to bacterial infection, which can kill the pulp, stimulate increased blood flow, and create pressure within the tooth. This can cause severe tooth pain and may initiate bone degeneration, tooth loss, and even more acute pain. If you see a dentist in the earliest stages of this condition, the tooth may be saved with a root canal. Otherwise, it should be extracted and replaced with a prosthetic.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is also referred to as endodontic treatment. “Endo” means “inside,” while “odont” means “tooth,” so it literally means treating the inside of a tooth.
In other terms, root canal therapy in Mt. Pleasant is a procedure that removes infected tissue from the root canals and pulp of a tooth so the remaining outer layers can be saved. This prevents the need to extract the tooth and replace it with an implant, bridge, or partial denture so you can continue using it for many years to come.
Root canals are much easier than people expect and Dr. Kent makes your comfort a top priority from beginning to end.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
If your tooth has an infection that’s reached the nerve, a simple filling or dental crown won’t address the cause of the problem. A root canal is the only procedure that treats the infected nerve in the center of a tooth (the source of the pain) while preserving the rest of the tooth’s structure.
Everyone is unique, but here are some of the symptoms you may notice if you need a root canal:
- Prolonged pain that lingers after your tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures
- Severe pain or discomfort when chewing
- Swollen gums or a pimple-like bump on the gums
- Facial swelling on one side
- In some cases, there are no symptoms because the nerve of a tooth has “quietly died” on its own
Pain-Free Root Canal Therapy
Will root canal therapy hurt? Not with today's advanced analgesics and technology. Thanks to our own in-house endodontist (basically a root canal specialist), Dr. Anya Kent, the entire process can be so comfortable that many patients actually doze off. Oftentimes, root canal therapy can be completed in a single appointment. Dr. Kent will simply clean out the diseased canal, fill it with a biologically-inert substance, seal it from further infection, and you're on your way.
Recovering From a Root Canal
For the first several days after a root canal, you may experience lingering sensitivity. This is normal and occurs as the inflammation that was previously in the tooth subsides. It’s also easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication, which Dr. Kent will discuss at your appointment.
You’ll want to maintain your normal oral hygiene habits after your procedure, including brushing 2-3 times a day and flossing once. You may also want to use an antiseptic mouthwash as well. And, as always, regular checkups are important to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
Finally, since your tooth has lost its blood supply, it will naturally be weaker and more brittle than usual. Dr. Kent will recommend the appropriate restoration, usually a dental crown, to restore your tooth’s strength. Until that’s been done, it’s a good idea to chew on the opposite side of your mouth and be very careful with hard or crunchy foods, or avoid them altogether.
With Dr. Kent, a root canal is nothing to fear. She’ll use it to relieve your severe dental pain and save your tooth, preserving and protecting your natural smile in the process. If you have any questions about this procedure, we’ll be sure to answer them, so please contact us today.