Posts for tag: Root Canal
Remembered fondly by fans as the wacky but loveable Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro is currently in his fifth year hosting America's Funniest Videos. It's the perfect gig for the 48-year-old actor, who loves to laugh and make others laugh as well. This is quite the opposite experience from one he had a few years ago that he remembers all too well: a severely decayed tooth.
After seeing his dentist for an intense toothache, Ribeiro learned he had advanced tooth decay and would need root canal treatment. Ribeiro wasn't thrilled by the news. Like many of us, he thought the procedure would be unpleasant. But he found afterward that not only was the root canal painless, his toothache had vanished.
More importantly, the root canal treatment saved his tooth, as it has for millions of others over the last century. If you're facing a situation similar to Alfonso Ribeiro's, here's a quick look at the procedure that could rescue your endangered tooth.
Getting ready. In preparation for root canal therapy, the tooth and surrounding gums are numbed, often first with a swab of local anesthesia to deaden the surface area in preparation for the injection of the main anesthesia below the surface. A dental dam is then placed to isolate the infected tooth from its neighbors to prevent cross-contamination.
Accessing the interior. To get to the infection, a small access hole is drilled. The location depends on the tooth: in larger back teeth, a hole is drilled through the biting surface, and in front teeth, a hole is drilled on the backside. This access allows us to insert special tools to accomplish the next steps in the procedure.
Cleaning, shaping and filling. Small tools are used to remove the diseased tissue from the interior tooth pulp and root canals. Then the empty spaces are disinfected. This, in effect, stops the infection. Next, the root canals inside the tooth are shaped to allow them to better accept a special filling called gutta percha. The access hole is then sealed to further protect the tooth from future infection, and a temporary crown is placed.
A new crown to boot. Within a couple weeks, we'll cap the tooth with a long-lasting lifelike crown (or a filling on certain teeth). This adds further protection for the tooth against infection, helps strengthen the tooth's structure, and restores the tooth's appearance.
Without this procedure, the chances of a tooth surviving this level of advanced decay are very slim. But undergoing a root canal, as Alfonso Ribeiro did, can give your tooth a real fighting chance.
If you would like more information about root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?”
Dealing with dental issues is certainly no fun and yet it happens more often than we would like. Of course, our Marietta, GA, dentist Dr. Casey Hart are here to the rescue when you start noticing problems with your smile that require immediate attention. Find out the signs and symptoms that might mean that you need root canal therapy, and why this procedure is so important for maintaining a healthy smile.
The most common indication that you may need root canal treatment is a toothache. Some people may only experience minor pain and not think it warrants a trip to the dentist while others may deal with persistent and severe pain. The pain may come and go throughout the day or get worse when biting down or putting pressure on the tooth.
You may also find that the tooth is particularly sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. The gums around the tooth may also be red, tender or swollen. A toothache alone is considered a dental emergency, no matter how mild it may be.
What You Should Do
If you notice any of the symptoms above then it’s time to contact your dentist in Marietta, GA, right away. Tell us about your symptoms over the phone and then a member of our dental staff will arrange an urgent care appointment for you. If symptoms are severe enough we may tell you to come right into the office.
If you are in severe pain you may choose to temporarily alleviate pain with over-the-counter painkillers or by applying an ice pack to the affected side of the face to ease your symptoms until your appointment.
What will a root canal do?
Our dentist will run x-rays to look at the health of the dental pulp, a structure inside the tooth that is made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. If the pulp is infected or inflamed, we will need to perform root canal treatment to remove the pulp and to clean out the inside of the tooth to prevent bacteria from spreading further into the tooth, as well as to nearby bone and other teeth.
A root canal is performed under local anesthesia, so the treatment area will be completely numb. Once the dental pulp has been extracted and the inside of the tooth has been disinfected we will apply a special material inside the roots and the tooth to support the structure and also to prevent another infection from occurring. After root canal therapy, your dentist may also decide to place a dental crown over the tooth for protection.
If you are dealing with a toothache or other dental issues in Marietta, GA, then don’t hesitate to call our office right away. We will make sure that you get the dental care you need.