Do you have a toothache? Did you wake up with a swollen jaw? These are signs of a dental abscess or an infected tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary to remedy this situation. At Precision Dentistry, Dr. Gol can perform root canal therapy to save an infected tooth and restore the health of your smile. Trained in the latest techniques and methods, Dr. Gol provides thorough care in a comfortable and relaxing environment.
When is Endodontic Treatment Necessary?
Simply stated, endodontic care is necessary any time bacteria invade the pulp of a tooth. This can occur due to a large cavity or fracture. Once the infection is in the pulp chamber, there are only two treatment options: tooth extraction or root canal therapy.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy involves cleaning the inside of the tooth and removing all living tissues from inside the affected tooth, including nerves and blood vessels. This eliminates infection at its source, alleviates pain and discomfort, and preserves the exterior tooth structure.
Before performing root canal therapy, Dr. Gol will perform a comprehensive examination to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure. In addition to visually assessing the tooth, he will also take x-rays to evaluate the health of the supporting bone. If the tooth is severely damaged, an extraction may be the most predictable solution. However, if enough healthy tooth structure remains, Dr. Gol will recommend root canal therapy.
To begin this process, the affected tooth and surrounding gums are numbed with local anesthesia. Next, a tiny access hole is drilled into the top of the tooth. Once the internal structures are visible, Dr. Gol will remove the pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. The inside of the tooth will then be disinfected to eliminate any residual bacteria. Next, Dr. Gol will fill the canals and the tooth to prevent recontamination. Finally, the tooth is sealed. In many cases, a dental crown is added to reinforce the weakened tooth.
This process is typically performed in two appointments. The tooth will be treated during the first visit, and the crown will be added at the second. Root canal therapy is incredibly effective and boasts success rates as high as 95 percent. While many individuals assume that root canal therapy is going to hurt, this is a misconception. Because the source of infection and pain is removed, there is usually minimal discomfort following this procedure.
Healing and Recovery
Following root canal therapy, patients can generally return to work the next day. Experiencing some tenderness in the area is normal. This is typically due to inflammation in the surrounding tissues. Any soreness can be mitigated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. It is important to begin brushing and flossing the area as soon as possible. If the area is tender, do the best you can until your comfort level improves. An antibacterial mouthwash can also be helpful to promote healing.
Until your final crown is placed, we recommend chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. Minimizing pressure on the affected tooth will help reduce the risk of damage or infection.
Contact Your Columbia, MD Family Dentist
Leaving an infected tooth untreated can be harmful to your overall oral health, as the bacteria will eventually spread to surrounding areas. If you are experiencing a toothache or swelling of the jaw, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gol right away. Contact us online or call us at (410) 884-0262.