You know something's wrong with your tooth. It throbs with pain. The surrounding gums are red and sore, and you taste some nasty drainage coming from the site. You need to see your dentist at Great Meadows Dental Group, but must you have that sick tooth extracted? Only Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Leo Kharin or Dr. Jessica Ristuccia in Bedford, MA, can tell you for sure. It's possible that root canal therapy--also called endodontics--could save your teeth for many years of additional service.
What is root canal therapy?
Most people call it a "root canal," named for the up to 4 pulp-filled chambers deep inside your tooth. When a tooth is damaged due to infection, accident or decay, a root canal in Bedford extracts the pulp, fills the canals and preserves the remaining healthy structure. Fortunately, the adult tooth can function well without the connective tissue, nerves and blood supply present in the pulp.
Performed by dentists all over the world for generations, root canal therapy has a truly unmerited reputation for being lengthy and painful. However, the 15 million people who receive endodontic therapy in the US annually could testify to the contrary. According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canal therapy is comfortable and takes only 2 visits to your dentist at Great Meadows Dental Group.
Dr. Papapetros, Dr. Kharin or Dr. Ristuccia confirms the need for root canal treatment with oral examination and digital X-rays. The procedure itself involves:
- Removing the diseased pulp
- Instilling antiseptic and antibiotic medication
- Filling the canals with biocompatible gutta-percha to seal and protect it
- Placing a temporary restoration until the tooth heals and a porcelain crown can be placed over it
Caring for the tooth
Root canal therapy generally needs no more than local anesthesia to keep the patient comfortable. After care involves a soft diet for a few days with over the counter analgesics as needed.
When the patient returns to Great Meadows Dental Group, the dentist removes the temporary crown and places a custom-made and lifelike porcelain crown to finish the restoration. Routine flossing, brushing and in-office care at Great Meadows Dental Group can keep the restored tooth in place and functional for years to come.
Keeping your teeth
Why is retaining your natural teeth important? Frankly, tooth loss compromises oral function, speech and smile aesthetics. Additionally, jaw bone and gums recede around an empty tooth socket, and the gap compromises the strength, position and stability of adjacent teeth. So the professional staff at Great Meadows Dental Group recommend root canal therapy, tooth-colored fillings and porcelain crowns to preserve as many natural teeth as possible.
If you are experiencing dental pain...
The sooner your dentist sees, diagnosis and treats your sick tooth, the better your chances are to preserve it. Contact Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA, when in pain, and see us semi-annually for your routine check-up and cleaning. Call (781) 275-7707 for an appointment.