Thorough consultation determines if root canal therapy is best for long-term health
While today’s dental patients can benefit from the most advanced technologies and techniques to replace a missing tooth, there is nothing quite like a natural tooth.
For instance, a natural tooth is attached to the bone by a living periodontal ligament. This feature allows a tooth treated with root canal therapy to survive, even when it no longer has the inner pulp that was vital for the tooth’s development. Plus, the periodontal ligament acts as a shock absorber for the tooth.
Since nerve endings are abundant within this structure, the periodontal ligament also serves a vital sensory function. It lets you know when there is something wrong with the tooth, as you may sense new or changing pain and pressure, which may be signs of an infection that requires treatment. The dental implant may be the next closest thing to a healthy, natural tooth but it cannot replicate some structures, such as the periodontal ligament.
Dr. Greenberg approaches every root canal from the perspective of preserving as much healthy tooth structure as possible. It’s possible to walk into the consultation thinking you will need root canal therapy. Imagine your relief when the doctor tells you that painful or damaged tooth can be restored with a simple filling! Likewise, you may find out root canal treatment is the only way to save your tooth, which is preferable to extraction. Some severely damaged teeth, such as those with fractured roots, cannot be saved with the root canal procedure. For this reason, it’s important to always seek care early and often to prevent the spread of infection that can put your tooth at increasingly greater risk of irreparable damage.
While you may need root canal treatment, you don’t always need a full-coverage crown to protect the treated tooth. A more conservative option, which retains maximum natural tooth structure, is to get a partial crown (onlay). This may be a viable option, should you have sufficient tooth structure.
Dr. Greenberg can also reinforce the treated tooth by doing a “post and core,” which is when a carbon-fiber post is placed inside of a root canal to build up the inner core. This technique can help extend the lifespan of the restoration by preventing fractures.
During a root canal consultation at Mouth Carolina Dentistry, the doctor may ask you a series of questions about the tooth and what prompted you to seek treatment. Some signs that your tooth needs root canal therapy include:
- Sharp pain when you bite down on hard foods
- Sensitivity that lasts for at least 30 seconds after consuming hot or cold food and drink
- Prolonged and severe pain or pressure
- Swollen gums
- Tender to the touch
These symptoms are clues, but Dr. Greenberg gets the full picture with a full clinical exam and X-rays. Depending on how far the infection has spread, you may be a good candidate for root canal therapy or more conservative procedures to restore your health. Don’t delay getting the treatment you need to feel better. Contact Mouth Carolina Dentistry today to schedule a consultation.Back to Root Canals Page