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Root Canals

 Root Canals

Root canal treatment is used to repair and save a tooth that
is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve
and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without
treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses
may form.




What Are the Signs That a Root Canal Is Needed?




Sometimes no symptoms are present; however, signs you may
need a root canal include:







  • Severe
    toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure



  • Prolonged
    sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures



  • Discoloration
    of the tooth



  • Swelling
    and tenderness in the nearby gums



  • A
    persistent or recurring pimple on the gums








How Painful is it?



Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.

What happen during a root canal treatment?
After reviewing a Digital X-ray of your tooth, your endodontist will
thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure,
recommend a treatment plan, discuss it with you, and answer your
questions. If a root canal is needed:

1) A local anesthetic is applied to the affected tooth and surrounding area
2) A
small, protective sheet called a "dental dam" is used to isolate the
tooth to keep it clean and free of saliva during your procedure

3) An
opening is made in the top of the tooth and your endodontist will remove
the soft pulp and nerve and then shape the interior for filling

4) The root canal is cleaned, medicated, and filled with a rubber-like biocompatible material (gutta percha)
5) A temporary filling is placed pending your return to your general dentist


Your root canal dentist will then place a permanent restoration, such as a crown, to protect the tooth 





What Should One Expect After Root Canal treatment?



For the first few days after the completion of root canal treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.




Until the root canal procedure is completely finished --
that is to say, the permanent filling is in place and/or the crown, it's wise
to minimize chewing on the tooth to prevent it from breaking before the tooth
can be fully restored.




Brush and floss as you regularly would and see your dentist
at normally scheduled intervals.





How Successful Are Root Canals?



Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has
more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a
lifetime.




Are you suffering from an infected, fractured or abscessed tooth or have general tooth pain, then call us to schedule a consultation with our root canal dentist. 


Call us for a consultation.  Our Dentist office in Arlington, MA serves the following communities Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.