Root Canal Treatment in Post Office Square, Boston, MA
Root canal treatment is also commonly referred to as root canal therapy, RCT, or endodontic therapy. It is performed by a general dentist or an endodontist, someone who specializes in the treatment of root canals and nerve conditions. Root canal treatment from a Post Office Square Dentist is vital for preserving the tooth.
Why You Might Need Root Canal Treatment
The two main causes of root canal treatment are deep dental decay and trauma.
Oftentimes, when a patient has not seen their dentist in a long time, dental decay that has started will progress. By the time the patient sees their dentist, the decay has broken through the enamel into the weaker structures of the tooth: the dentin and the pulp chamber. Once decay reaches the dentin, it progresses rapidly because the dentin is more porous than the enamel.
When the decay reaches the pulp chamber, it can irritate and damage the nerve of the tooth. The result is often an intense toothache. Oral bacteria can reach the nerve and cause an infection, often leading to painful abscess and exudate (pus). Your Post Office Square dentist needs to address an abscessed tooth as quickly as possible because the infection can damage the surrounding bone.
At this point, removing the decay and simply filling the tooth is not an option. The only way to treat the infection is to remove the tooth or the nerve tissue (root canal therapy). Treating an infected tooth will not only ease your pain but will also protect your general health. Any untreated infection can weaken your entire immune system and damage other areas of the body, such as:
- The brain
- The heart
- Weak areas of the body
- Any area of the body where there is a prosthesis
Another issue that can cause nerve damage is trauma. A person who gets hit in the mouth during an accident, due to a fall, or while playing sports can end up with a damaged tooth. Most often, we think of a tooth that pops out completely. This is not the only eventuality.
The tooth can fracture, and the nerve can become exposed. Or the trauma itself can cause the nerve to die even if the tooth remains whole.
When the nerve is exposed or dies, it cannot be repaired. The damaged tissue needs to be removed to save the tooth.
Signs You Might Need a Root Canal
Here are some symptoms that will alert your dentist to the need for root canal therapy.
- Throbbing pain
- Chronic toothache
- Sensitivity to bite pressure
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Sensitivity to sweets
- Bad taste in the mouth
It is important to note, however, that there are some cases in which a patient is asymptomatic. The only way we know the nerve has been damaged is with an x-ray and a dental checkup. If you have a dead nerve and no symptoms, you still need root canal therapy. When the nerve is dead, it will eventually lead to pain. In the meantime, nutrients are not able to nourish the tooth, making it weak and susceptible to fracture.
What Happens During Root Canal Treatment?
After numbing your tooth, your Post Office Square dentist will use a dental handpiece to open the tooth (going through the top of it if it is a posterior tooth or going through the back if it is a front tooth).
Once they gain access to the pulp chamber, they will use tiny instruments that look like a scrub brush or a Christmas tree. They will use these instruments to remove the damaged nerve tissue and clean out the nerve chamber and canals of the roots of your tooth.
After all the decay (if there is any) and the nerve tissue has been removed, your dentist will take an x-ray to double-check that there is no residual nerve tissue. If there is not, we are clear to proceed.
We will disinfect the tooth and fill the root canals with a substance called gutta percha. We will take a final x-ray to make sure the canals are completely filled to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth.
How Your Post Office Square Dentist Restores a Tooth with a Root Canal
We will use a strong composite filling material to build the tooth back up. Then, we will protect the tooth with a dental crown.
We Will Make Sure Your Dental Visit Is Comfortable
Our team understands that the idea of root canal therapy in Post Office Square is anxiety-inducing for some patients. We want to assure you that we will do all we can to make your appointment a comfortable one. Our caring team will walk you through the process, ensure that you are completely numb throughout the procedure, and take breaks as needed. Your comfort is our top priority.
Are you experiencing dental pain? Contact us at (617) 426-6011 to schedule an appointment.