Philadelphia area patients ask, “Are root canal treatments worth it?”
Root canals are common dental procedures that are very straightforward and effective for saving natural teeth. Myths about root canals being painful and harmful have circulated for years, making many patients cringe when they hear a mere mention of the procedure. The simple fact is that most of our patients in Philadelphia report that the root canal treatment they received was worth it and not much different than a filling.
Why some patients need root canals
At the center of every tooth lies the pulp chamber, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. This area of the tooth has several functions for developing teeth, including nourishing the tooth and forming the dentin. There are many different things that can lead to infected pulp including: cracks, injury, deep decay, or multiple dental procedures can all weaken the enamel and dentin leaving the pulp more susceptible to infection.
Symptoms of infection
Most infections give patients some noticeable warning signs, although sometimes, patients with no symptoms discover they need a root canal procedure. The most common signs and symptoms are:
- Visible swelling of the gum tissue
- Pain and sensitivity to temperature in the tooth and gums.
- A foul taste in the mouth
- Pus that drains into the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
When patients come to us with the symptoms of infection, we often recommend a root canal procedure. The root canal allows us to save the natural tooth structure and avoid pulling the tooth.
The root canal procedure
The three main goals of root canals are to eliminate disease/decay, prevent future infection, and to save the natural tooth.
During a root canal the dentist will make an opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The damaged tissue is then removed, and the root canals are cleaned and medicated to eliminate any traces of infection. The area in the tooth and root canals is then filled and a crown is placed over the tooth to protect and strengthen it, and allow the tooth to withstand the force of biting and chewing.
Root canals are an in-office procedure that is done after injections of local anesthesia. Depending on the case, the root canal can be completed in one visit or may require multiple visits.
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What to expect after root canal treatment
The number one thing you will notice after a root canal treatment is relief. While the tooth may be sensitive for a few days, the pain and swelling associated with the infection will have subsided. Over the counter or prescription analgesics can be used to relieve any discomfort.
What to do if you suspect you need a root canal
If you feel like you may be experiencing signs of infection, it’s important to call the office as soon as possible. The quicker we catch a problem, the better the chances are of us saving the tooth.
While many patients fear a root canal, the good news is that procedure works to alleviate pain and will not cause further pain.
At David Spilkia Family & Cosmetic dentistry, we provide high quality dental care in a comfortable, relaxing environment. Our goal is to provide an easy, hassle-free dental experience for patients of all ages. We are here to help with everything from general dentistry to cosmetic procedures or dental emergencies. Our team is always happy to answer any questions you may have to help you make informed decisions about your oral health. We place a strong focus on prevention and encourage our patients to practice good oral hygiene to prevent decay and disease. We are always here to work with our patients on ways to improve dental care to keep their mouths and bodies healthy.
If you are in the Philadelphia area, we invite you to call our office today at (267) 463-2777 to learn more about what we offer. If you are currently experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of tooth infection, we’ll work with you to get you an appointment as soon as possible to evaluate the mouth and recommend treatment. If you need a root canal, you’ll find that relief is right around the corner.