Your teeth should last your entire life, with proper care and maintenance. Unfortunately, most people don't take the best care of their teeth, and accidents happen, leading to dental issues. Many believe that the only option is extraction once a tooth is damaged and decayed.
However, at Parkway Dental Care, we strive to salvage the natural tooth when possible, which usually involves root canal treatment for teeth that are severely infected. Dr. Philip T. Philip is our lead dentist. He has the experience and expertise to successfully perform root canal treatment and many other dental procedures.
In this article, we'll explain what you need to know about this procedure.
Root canal treatment is a procedure designed to salvage the structure of a tooth that is infected.
The only way to confirm that you need root canal treatment is by visiting the dentist- but there are several symptoms that indicate you need this procedure:
There are several steps involved in root canal treatment. The dentist will start by administering local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth. Then, a small hole is drilled in the tooth to remove the infected pulp.
Once the pulp is removed, the tooth will be disinfected to get rid of any remaining infection and bacteria. Then, it is filled with a biocompatible material known as gutta-percha, which will support the tooth from the inside.
There are several benefits associated with root canal treatment, including:
In some cases, tooth problems are genetic and can't be avoided. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of needing root canal treatment or other dental procedures:
Take your time to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, which can help prevent cavities and strengthen teeth. In addition, you should floss at least once to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth.
Bacteria not only increases your risk of needing root canal treatment, but it also contributes to bad breath. Mouthwash can combat this by killing the bacteria. Make sure to choose alcohol-free mouthwash, as the alcohol can burn your mouth and gums.
In addition to brushing your teeth, you should also use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from your tongue. This also reduces bad breath in addition to helping you avoid root canal treatment.
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. This will allow the dentist to diagnose and treat issues early before they progress.
In addition to increasing your risk of tooth decay/damage, sugar also increases your risk of conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Therefore, it's important to reduce the amount of sugary foods/beverages you are consuming.
There are some foods that are known to strengthen your enamel. Choose foods that are high in protein, Vitamin D, and calcium such as leafy greens, cheese, salmon, and yogurt.
Sodas and fruit juices contain sugar, which can stick to your teeth and cause decay- but water will help to wash away bacteria.
Tobacco has so many detrimental impacts on your oral and overall health. In addition to increasing your risk of needing root canal treatment, it can cause tooth loss, oral cancer, and more. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, we encourage you to quit. If you need help, we will be happy to help you find resources to help you quit.
If you believe that you may need root canal treatment, schedule your consultation with the team at Parkway Dental Care. Dr. Philip T. Philip is the lead dentist at the clinic, as well as their secondary location, Avalon Commons Dental Care, in Orlando. He graduated from Tufts University Dental School with his Doctor of Dental Surgery. His primary focus is his patients.
He strives to stay on top of the latest in dental advancements and patient care. He works with each patient individually to create a personalized care plan. He and the team also make sure that each patient feels comfortable in the clinic- and feels like a person instead of just a number.
Our office hours are Monday and Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. You can schedule your appointment by calling the office or by visiting our website.
If you have questions about root canal therapy or any other treatments offered at Parkway Dental Care, we will be more than happy to answer them. Below are some of the questions we are asked most often about root canal treatment.
When you are having root canal treatment, you should expect to spend up to 3 hours in the clinic. The actual time depends on the location and complexity of the tooth. A tooth with one root will take less time than one with multiple roots. In some cases, you'll need two appointments- one for the root canal and one to place the dental crown.
In the past, root canal treatment could be a painful procedure. However, thanks to advancements in dental technology and improvements in anesthesia options, this procedure is no more painful than a tooth extraction. In fact, most patients can go right back to their normal routine on the same day.
After root canal treatment, the pain will be gone, so you should be able to eat anything you like. However, it is important to wait until after the anesthesia has worn off before you start eating. If you try to eat while your mouth is numb, you may bite down too hard on your tongue or cheek. When you do eat, start with soft foods and avoid chewing directly on the treated tooth for a few days. This will allow time for the restoration to set.
If you are a smoker, we encourage you to quit because of the negative impacts it can have on your oral and overall health. We will be happy to offer you assistance in finding resources to help you quit smoking. However, if you must smoke following your root canal treatment, we recommend that you wait 72 hours to avoid complications.
Root canal treatment removes the infection, which gets rid of pain/sensitivity. This means that you can go back to eating all of your favorite foods. However, we do recommend that you start with soft foods following the procedure, as your mouth can be sore. Also, for a few days, you'll want to avoid chewing or biting directly on the treated tooth.
In most cases, only local anesthesia is used, so you should be able to drive following root canal treatment. However, if you require sedation for any reason, it's important that you bring someone with you that can drive you home following the procedure and sit with you until the anesthesia wears off.