Experiencing a toothache that just won’t go away? Chances are your cavity has progressed to a tooth infection. In order to protect the rest of your smile, you may need root canal therapy. At Watkins Dental Group, our Back Mountain dental team uses advanced technologies and a welcoming setting to make your root canal therapy a comfortable experience.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Your tooth is made up of three layers: The white outside layer is called the tooth enamel. Underneath the enamel, you will find a hard layer which is known as dentin. The inner layer is referred to as the pulp and is made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. This is the living tissue that fortifies the tooth. Unfortunately, cavities or damage can create an entry point in the tooth where bacteria can enter and infect this living tissue.
Root canal therapy is an endodontic surgical treatment designed to repair and save a badly infected tooth. This is achieved by removing infected tissue, disinfecting the region, refilling the tooth and then sealing and protecting the tooth with a dental crown.
Signs You Need Root Canal Treatment
While toothaches are a common indicator that something is wrong with the tooth, patients often ignore this important warning sign and put off treatment. This can have serious consequences on the rest of your smile and it ultimately requires more advanced care by a specialist. That’s why it’s important to have regular checkups so your dentist can monitor potential problems. The following symptoms can be a signal that you need a root canal:
- The tooth hurts, especially when you chew
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink
- The tooth darkens
- Tenderness, swelling or small bumps develop on gums around the affected tooth
What to Expect During Your Root Canal Therapy
Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy is much less painful than it sounds. Often, the discomfort patients endure before getting treatment is worse than the actual procedure.
Typically, root canal therapy can be completed in two office visits. During your first visit to Watkins Dental Group, our dentists will remove the infection by creating a small hole behind the affected tooth. Special endodontic instruments are then used to remove infected tissue from within the tooth and to sterilize the inner tooth. Once the tooth has been properly cleaned, we’ll place a biocompatible material called gutta percha into the empty chamber and seal it with a filling.
During the second visit, we’ll place a custom porcelain crown on the treated tooth to protect it from bacteria which could cause another infection in the future.
Your Root Canal Dentist in Dallas, PA
If you’re experiencing toothaches or sensitivity, call our dental office at (570) 675-1138 right away. The sooner Dr. Watkins can diagnose a potential tooth infection, the sooner we can provide you with the correct treatment and restoration.