Creating Painless Smiles With Root Canals
A root canal is probably the most unfairly treated dental procedure. Most people hear, “You need a root canal” and they immediately think about the pain. To the contrary, a root canal is designed to eliminate the pain of having an infected tooth. At Bradford Young, Dr. Young will perform a root canal Allentown, PA, residents will be glad they had.
Root canal therapy is intended to save an infected tooth that might otherwise need to be extracted. The infection happens deep inside your tooth when bacteria that normally is kept out accesses your tooth’s interior via severe decay, a deep crack or traumatic tooth injury. Aside from pain, the signs of an infected tooth are also:
- A newly discolored tooth
- Swollen gums around the tooth
- Swelling on the side of your face
- Signs of infection on an x-ray
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then please call the dental office of Bradford Young immediately. We want relieve you pain and save your tooth.
The pain of infected tooth is better understood by looking at the structure of a tooth. Each tooth in your mouth is encased in a layer of enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Underneath that is a layer called dentin, which is softer. And in the center of a tooth is dental pulp, which holds the nerve and lymph tissue as well as blood vessels that deliver nutrients to the tooth and eliminate waste. This dental pulp has canals that extend down into the roots. When the pulp and root canals are exposed to bacteria, the tooth begins to die and root canal treatment becomes necessary.
The Root Canal Procedure
When you come to Allentown restorative dentist, Dr. Bradford Young, for root canal therapy, one of our skilled dentists will first administer local anesthesia to the tooth and surrounding gum tissue to prevent pain during treatment. Then, we will access the pulp chamber and root canals of your infected tooth. Dr. Young will gently and completely clean out all evidence of infection and debris from the interior of your tooth. In doing so, they will also need to remove the dental pulp. Fortunately, a tooth can still function perfectly well without this component.
Once the tooth is cleansed, we'll disinfect the chamber and canals and fill it with a biocompatible and anti-bacterial material. Called gutta-percha, this material expands to fill in the hollowed out portion of your tooth. The access hole is covered and your tooth is given time to heal.
After healing, your tooth will need to be protected with a permanent restoration, such as a porcelain crown. This not only prevents the tooth from succumbing to further damage, but also restores its normal form and function.
Don’t contend with the pain of an infected tooth for even one more day. Dr. Young and his staff want to help you have a healthy smile again with a pain-free root canal. Contact us today if you have any questions or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment.
Root Canal FAQ’s
Are you still curious about root canals? This important procedure for dental emergencies, tooth pain, and decay, often comes with various questions or concerns. For any specifics, please contact our office to speak with one of our friendly staff members directly. Until then, we’ve included the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about root canals in Allentown. Read on to learn more!
How Can I Avoid the Need for a Root Canal in the Future?
Root canal therapy is incredibly important to receive when you need it, however this treatment can usually be avoided with the right oral healthcare routine. To prevent infection and decay, brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. Angle your brush at 45-degrees for the most thorough cleaning. You should also floss once a day, removing harmful plaque and food debris from in between your teeth. For an extra layer of cleaning, try a nonalcoholic mouthwash after you’re done brushing. Last but certainly not least, visit our office for routine checkups and cleanings to catch any issues early before they get worse.
Is There an Alternative to Getting a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is one of the most important treatments we have to offer because the only alternative is tooth extraction. In fact, before root canals, that’s exactly what was done. If you had a tooth infection, the only way to prevent it from spreading and causing more damage was to completely extract your tooth. Thankfully, root canal therapy effectively removes damaged or infected tissue while keeping your tooth intact. That said, there are some cases where teeth are too damaged or infected for a root canal, which may result in an extraction.
Is it Painful to Get a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy often gets a bad reputation for being painful. However, we offer this treatment to get patients out of pain rather than put them in it! In reality, your procedure is much more comfortable than you may have guessed, with a sensation that is similar to a simple filling. Typically, the only discomfort and soreness you will feel is once the procedure is over, but this will go away after a few days. Dr. Young does all he can to ensure that his patients remain relaxed and comfortable throughout their entire appointment.
What Should I Do After I Get a Root Canal?
After your root canal therapy, it’s vital to give yourself some time to rest. Many patients who plan a root canal elect to have their appointment on a Friday so they can take the weekend to relax. However, if your schedule doesn’t permit to do so, or it’s simply an emergency, just be sure to give yourself at least a day after your treatment to recover. You can take over the counter pain medication and use a cold compress for any swelling. Your discomfort will go away after a few days, but if it seems to get worse, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for necessary treatment!