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Root Canal for Oral Health

Root canal therapy, or as you have more likely heard it root canal, is a means of dental treatment that addresses an infected tooth at its pulp or root. The pulp of a tooth does not infect easily and usually is a result of a cavity spreading to the pulp or a cracked tooth allowing direct access to the pulp for bacteria. The living connective tissue that is the pulp reacts to infection the same way that your tonsils do when you have a sore throat. The infection causes pain, inflammation, pressure and tenderness and in order to properly address the infected pulp, a root canal procedure will be necessary.

Root canal therapy has a reputation for being painful and something to avoid, but it is the most sure fire way to rescue a tooth from having to be extracted and replaced. Each root canal procedure is different and can offer some serious long term benefits despite of the discomfort that may come with the treatment.

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Root Canals and Pain Expectations

Arguably, a root canal procedure is not going to be one of your favorite memories, it certainly will not be as painful as it is rumored to be. Additionally, the benefit of having the dentist in wilmington nc perform the root canal procedure as soon as you start experiencing symptoms will decrease the amount of pain you experience.

And should you try to avoid a root canal procedure, you will most likely have more serious long term health consequences for your mouth and your body which could include infection migrating to the blood stream or elsewhere in the body. Rather than run those risks, talk to the dentist about sedation options for the procedure so you can be as comfortable as possible while you address your health.

Root Canal for Children

If the dentist has examined your child’s mouth and determined that a root canal is the best treatment plan for an affected tooth, it is a common occurrence. Children’s teeth are softer than adults and this allows bacteria and decay to affect them more easily.

Pros and Cons of Root Canal Therapy

Although the long term benefits of having root canal therapy outweigh the risks of not having it, there are some risks involved. You may find that you suffer from possible tooth discoloration, discomfort, and a not as strong tooth.

Despite the downside, the benefits are much stronger and more permanent. Root canal therapy will stop the infection from spreading to the surrounding teeth, gums and jawbone, relieve your chronic tooth pain, save a tooth or teeth from being removed, and improve your smile.

Common Symptoms

Most people have similar experiences and symptoms that can send a red flag to you and to the dentist. These common indicators are warning signs that root canal therapy may be in your near future to prevent tooth extraction or other serious infections and more invasive procedures. It is time to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away if you notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain when chewing or biting on one tooth or one area
  • Pain when applying pressure to that tooth or area
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Redness of that area and swollen gums in that area
  • Non-subsiding pain in one area whether you are eating or resting
  • Color changes of a tooth or teeth in one area
  • Heart beat throbbing
  • A pimple “like” bump on you gum

Root Canal Expectations

Once you have discussed with the dentist your symptoms and the dentist has properly examined the affected area, you and the dentist need to determine if a root canal is the best treatment plan for you. From beginning to end, root canal therapy usually requires one or two appointments. At your first consultation, the dentist will determine that the pulp is infected and that the tooth can be repaired and does not need to be removed to ensure your overall dental health.

The next step requires the dentist to remove the infected pulp around the tooth and gum. After the infected pulp is gone, the dentist will disinfect the area and surrounding teeth. After the inside of the tooth is free from infection, the dentist will use a filling or crown to act as a seal for the tooth. The filling or crown is like a cast for a broken arm and will help strengthen the tooth as well as prevent further infection.

To ensure you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure, the dentist may offer a local anesthesia. The actual procedure will provide relief from the pain and discomfort you have been feeling due to the infection. When it is completed, your infection should abate and your mouth will feel better than before the infection.

Root Canal Aftercare

Following your root canal treatment, take care to note any swelling or inflammation that reoccurs at the original infection site. If you notice the any worsening or find any pressure or worsening pain, then please contact the dentist’s office immediately. During the days and weeks following the more invasive appointments, eating softer foods will keep you comfortable. Once the healing process takes hold, you can gradually include harder and more abrasive foods. Once your dentist has completed work on your root canal and you are fully healed, you need to treat your natural teeth with a more conscientious approach of twice daily brushing and flossing as well as twice yearly dental cleanings and exams.

Root Canal Cost

Costs for each procedure vary depending on how long the procedure takes, what materials the procedure requires, how many visits the procedure requires, and the amount of work the dentist is required to do. It may surprise you to know, but dental insurance may cover some of the costs for these as well as elective procedures as they lead to improved overall dental health and long term benefits. If you do not have dental insurance coverage or you have any questions about payment options for your treatment plan, you are more than welcome to talk to our staff at any time. Your budget’s health is just as important as your mouth’s health.


High Quality Care You Can Trust

At Edgerton & Glenn Cosmetic and General Dentistry. We strive to build relationships with our patients. You are more than just teeth, you are our patient and friend and we want to help you to achieve and maintain oral health as best we can. We look forward to meeting you and talking about what is best for you and your mouth. Please contact us to set up a root canal appointment at (910) 256-9230.