Posts for tag: Root Canal
Remembered fondly by fans as the wacky but loveable Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro is currently in his fifth year hosting America's Funniest Videos. It's the perfect gig for the 48-year-old actor, who loves to laugh and make others laugh as well. This is quite the opposite experience from one he had a few years ago that he remembers all too well: a severely decayed tooth.
After seeing his dentist for an intense toothache, Ribeiro learned he had advanced tooth decay and would need root canal treatment. Ribeiro wasn't thrilled by the news. Like many of us, he thought the procedure would be unpleasant. But he found afterward that not only was the root canal painless, his toothache had vanished.
More importantly, the root canal treatment saved his tooth, as it has for millions of others over the last century. If you're facing a situation similar to Alfonso Ribeiro's, here's a quick look at the procedure that could rescue your endangered tooth.
Getting ready. In preparation for root canal therapy, the tooth and surrounding gums are numbed, often first with a swab of local anesthesia to deaden the surface area in preparation for the injection of the main anesthesia below the surface. A dental dam is then placed to isolate the infected tooth from its neighbors to prevent cross-contamination.
Accessing the interior. To get to the infection, a small access hole is drilled. The location depends on the tooth: in larger back teeth, a hole is drilled through the biting surface, and in front teeth, a hole is drilled on the backside. This access allows us to insert special tools to accomplish the next steps in the procedure.
Cleaning, shaping and filling. Small tools are used to remove the diseased tissue from the interior tooth pulp and root canals. Then the empty spaces are disinfected. This, in effect, stops the infection. Next, the root canals inside the tooth are shaped to allow them to better accept a special filling called gutta percha. The access hole is then sealed to further protect the tooth from future infection, and a temporary crown is placed.
A new crown to boot. Within a couple weeks, we'll cap the tooth with a long-lasting lifelike crown (or a filling on certain teeth). This adds further protection for the tooth against infection, helps strengthen the tooth's structure, and restores the tooth's appearance.
Without this procedure, the chances of a tooth surviving this level of advanced decay are very slim. But undergoing a root canal, as Alfonso Ribeiro did, can give your tooth a real fighting chance.
If you would like more information about root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?”
You may have a negative connotation about root canal therapy. But the truth is that a root canal is a routine and minimally invasive procedure that is actually very similar to getting a filling for a cavity. When a tooth is badly infected or damaged due to trauma or tooth decay, a root canal is often the only way to save the tooth from extraction or more invasive treatment. Dr. Eric Young, a dentist in Mokena, IL, offers root canal therapy and other general and cosmetic dentistry services to improve your smile and preserve your oral health.
Root Canal Therapy in Mokena, IL
Every tooth contains a network of soft tissue known as the pulp. When bacteria reaches the pulp, it causes infection and inflammation, usually through an opening caused by trauma, tooth decay, or fractures from previous dental procedures. During a root canal, the dentist will remove the damaged tissue and bacteria. Once the inside of the tooth has been cleaned, it is sealed and protected with a dental crown.
How to Know if You Need a Root Canal
You will need to schedule an appointment for a dental exam in order for the dentist to determine if a root canal is necessary, but the most common symptoms include:
- Swollen/tender gums
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Signs of infection like pus
The severity of the pain can vary from mild to severe, and in some cases may only flare up when you bite down or put pressure on the tooth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you experience any symptoms that last more than a few days.
Find a Dentist in Mokena, IL
For more information about root canal therapy and how it can help save a badly damaged tooth and improve your oral health, contact Mill Pond Dental Group today by calling (708) 722-1600 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Young.