Painless and Affordable Root Canal Treatments
Many patients fear root canal therapy, believing it to be a painful and unpleasant experience. However, the truth is that with modern technology and techniques, root canal therapy is a routine and virtually painless procedure.
At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, Dr. Andrew Howard and our team take all the necessary steps to ensure your appointment is as low-stress as possible. Learn how our affordable dentist in Loveland, CO, can help alleviate tooth pain.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, is performed to repair or save a damaged or infected tooth. The treatment involves removing the damaged or infected pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels) from the tooth’s root canal. Root canal treatment is recommended when the pulp is damaged beyond repair. If left untreated, damaged teeth can lead to a painful tooth abscess or loss.
When is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?
Root canal therapy is a standard general dentistry procedure. Dr. Howard may recommend this treatment to patients with:
- Deep Decay: If a cavity is left untreated and progresses deep into the tooth, it can reach the pulp and cause infection.
- Dental Trauma: A tooth that has been cracked, chipped, or broken due to trauma can expose the pulp to bacteria and cause infection.
- Gum Disease: If gum disease has caused the gums to recede, it can expose the tooth roots, making them vulnerable to infection.
- Abscess: If an infection in the tooth is left untreated, it can lead to the formation of a painful abscess which requires root canal therapy to treat.
- Sensitivity to Hot and Cold: If a tooth is sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and the sensitivity lingers, it may be a sign of infected pulp.
- Severe Toothache: A severe and persistent toothache, especially when chewing or applying pressure, may be a sign of infected pulp.
The Root Canal Treatment Process
The entire root canal therapy procedure typically takes one to two appointments, depending on the extent of the damage and the complexity of the case.
- Assessment: Dr. Howard will take an X-ray to assess the extent of the damage and determine if root canal therapy is necessary.
- Anesthesia and Sedation: Your Loveland dentist will administer local anesthesia and your option of dental sedation to numb the area around the affected tooth and help you feel at ease.
- Removing the Pulp: Dr. Howard will create a small hole to access the tooth’s pulp chamber. Using small files, your dentist will remove the infected or inflamed pulp from the canals of the tooth.
- Cleaning and Shaping Canals: Dr. Howard will clean and shape the canals using small files and irrigation to remove any remaining debris and bacteria.
- Filling the Canals: He’ll then fill the canals with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha, which seals the canals to prevent further infection.
- Temporary Filling: The access hole is temporarily filled to protect the tooth until a permanent restoration can be placed.
- Dental Restoration: Dr. Howard will finish the procedure by placing a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect it from further damage.
Root Canal Therapy Aftercare
After undergoing root canal therapy, It’s important to follow proper aftercare steps to ensure the tooth heals and remains healthy. Here are some aftercare tips:
- Take Pain Medication as Prescribed: You may experience discomfort and sensitivity after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication may be recommended to manage any pain.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss regularly, and rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash to help prevent infection and promote healing.
- Avoid Chewing on the Treated Tooth: To prevent damaging the tooth, avoid chewing on hard or crunchy foods until the permanent restoration is in place.
- Eat Soft Foods: Stick to a soft diet for the first few days after the procedure to prevent aggravating the treated tooth.
- Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Follow-up appointments with Dr. Howard are necessary to monitor the healing process and ensure the tooth is healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Root canal therapy may cause discomfort during the procedure, but modern techniques and anesthesia make it relatively painless. After the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity or soreness, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
The length of a root canal therapy appointment can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the number of canals in the tooth being treated. Generally, a single appointment can take 60 to 90 minutes, while multiple visits can take up to two to three hours.
In many cases, root canal therapy is preferable to extraction because it allows you to keep your natural tooth. Saving the tooth can also prevent other dental issues that can arise from tooth loss, such as shifting teeth and changes in the bite.
Root canal therapy is a highly effective treatment for saving damaged or infected teeth. Success rates are generally high, and most patients experience a full recovery with minimal complications. However, it’s crucial to follow proper aftercare and maintain good oral hygiene practices to ensure the long-term success of the treatment.
Don’t Leave Tooth Infections Untreated: Schedule a Consultation
Root canal therapy is a safe and effective procedure that can save your infected tooth from extraction and alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with the infection. The procedure is virtually painless and will benefit your oral health in the long run.
Call our Loveland, CO, office at (970) 669-3918 to schedule a consultation. We proudly serve Colorado patients in Greeley, Evans, and Garden City.