Few things are more painful that the sharp stab of sensitivity every time eat anything remotely hot or cold. While this issue arises for a variety of reasons, sensitivity that doesn’t ease with simple dental hygiene switches may be a sign of problems with your tooth’s root.
When infection invades pulp in your root canal, it can be incredibly painful, as well as causing ongoing sensitivity. Left untreated, this could even lead to further complications such as an abscess.
As such, seeking treatment in even mild cases of tooth sensitivity and pain is vital for avoiding further complications. Most often, your dentist will recommend endodontic treatment. Or, as its more commonly known, a root canal filling.
What is endodontic treatment?
Root canal filling is one of those terms that sends fear into most hearts, but many of us don’t actually understand what endodontic treatment is. In reality, this treatment option doesn’t deserve anywhere near the bad reputation it receives. With astounding pain relief benefits, this is one of the most commonly carried out dental procedures. In fact, well over 14 million are performed every single year!
In basic terms, endodontic treatment involves cleaning and filling the pulp inside your tooth to clear an infection and avoid further issues. Unlike a standard filling, endodontic treatment requires a dentist to work right down to the root canal. As such, endodontic treatments can take some time. Despite common belief, however, processes like these should be painless. The majority of dentists also break treatments into manageable appointments so that you’re never in the chair for too long at any one time.
Cost is also a common worry when it comes to root canal options, but this is again a falsehood. While an endodontic treatment may cost more than a standard filling, especially in the case of multiple appointments, this is still a cheaper option than many alternatives. Tooth extraction, bridges, and crowns would all cost a patient more than double the amount in the long-run.
What does diagnosis entail?
Much like with a regular filling, diagnosis of a need for endodontic treatment typically begins with an examination. At this time, your dentist will take x-rays, ask questions about any pain you’re experiencing, and examine your teeth.
Ultimately, your dentist will be looking for whether an infection has reached the pulp of your teeth, and to what extent. Signs that this may have happened include –
- Increased sensitivity
- Severe toothache with even slight pressure
- Tenderness in surrounding gums
Do note that, in some instances, infected pulp might not have any symptoms at all. In cases like these, a dentist will need to rely on x-ray results to decide whether endodontic treatment is necessary. Catching issues here before symptoms arise is always the best option and is yet more proof that regular checkups are essential to keep dental hygiene in check.
What can you expect?
Given that fear prevents many of us from seeking treatment even when pain occurs, it’s worth breaking down precisely what you can expect from endodontic treatment procedures. By understanding the process, you may find it much easier to face treatment when the time comes.
In some ways, merely understanding what endodontic treatment is can help here. As mentioned, the process involves the removal of infected pulp within the tooth and can entail some scraping sensations. By preparing for this, patients can remove at least some of the unknown from this process.
To take your understanding of endodontic treatment even further, it’s worth breaking the process down into its three component parts. Generally completed throughout three sessions, endodontic treatment typically consists of –
- Cleaning your root canal
Cleaning is when your dentist will remove infected pulp from your root canal. This should be entirely painless, though some drilling will be involved as your dentist creates a small entry hole. You’ll also be able to feel some pressure as your dentist works, but local anesthetic ensures that’s as far as your pain goes. At the end of this procedure, your dentist will likely fit a temporary filling until your next appointment.
- Filling your root canal
On your next appointment, your dentist will clean and shape the hollow area they’ve created. They’ll then fill the tooth to seal your canal. At this stage in the process, the tooth is dead, so you should feel no pain during this procedure or after it.
- Applying a crown or filling
Lastly, your dentist will strengthen the affected tooth with a crown or filling. With no pulp, teeth receive lower levels of nourishment and can become brittle over time. To make sure this isn’t an issue, and to avoid further infection, reinforcement is always necessary. This should be a reasonably fast appointment and represents the end of treatment.
After treatment, your dentist will give you some aftercare tips to ensure that your endodontic treatment has time to heal, and also so that you avoid future issues. Some top tips to keep in mind include –
- Avoid chewing hard food directly on your filling
- Brush twice a day, with special care taken around the site of your endodontic treatment
- Floss daily to prevent further infections
- Arrange regular cleaning appointments with your dentist for ongoing care
Endodontic treatment at Fitchburg Smiles
Endodontic treatments don’t get much better than those offered at our state-of-the-art Fitchburg facility. As well as providing treatment and peace of mind, our team will go above and beyond to help guarantee the utmost cleanliness throughout your three treatments.
With qualifications from Boston University School of Dental Medicine and beyond, our team offer endodontic treatments with ease. Even nervous patients will feel calm under their knowledgeable guidance.
We’ll also help you manage the costs of endodontic treatments with our flexible financing arrangements. By spreading that expense over a few months, you can take the sting from your bank balance, as well as your tooth.
All you need to do to enjoy these benefits and more is contact a member of our friendly team on 978-308-5555 today.
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