Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ask Pueblo Dentists: Your FAQ About Root Canal Therapy, PART 2

This three-part article series takes an in-depth look at root canal therapy; what it involves, what patients can expect and how it can help save an infected tooth from requiring extraction.

In our previous article post, courtesy of Pueblo dentists, Dr. Rogers and Dr. Bull, we began answering some of the questions frequently asked about root canal therapy. “What is root canal therapy?”; “What necessitates it?”, and “Does the procedure hurt?” were all common concerns addressed in Part 1. In this article, the second installment of a three-part series, we shall continue to address more FAQs, beginning with an in-depth account of what having root canal therapy involves.

FAQ 4: What is the procedure involved in having root canal therapy?

Answer: When tissue in the rest of the body becomes infected or diseased, the body simply sloughs off the dead or affected cells and forms new ones, say Pueblo dentists. Your teeth, on the other hand, are incredibly unique structures in that the tissue inside them is completely encased by a hard and protective crown. This makes it impossible for the body to deal effectively with infection and disease. As a result, it is up to external intervention by skilled and qualified Pueblo dentists to repair the tooth if it is to be saved and the need for dental implants avoided.

Pueblo dentist
The procedure involved here begins with the filing away of a portion of the tooth structure to expose its infected internal spaces (the pulp chamber and root canals). The Pueblo dentist, under the effects of a local or general anesthesia (depending upon the number of teeth requiring therapy and the complexity of the case) will completely remove the dead and infected pulp from the inside of the tooth. The canal areas are then carefully shaped and cleaned to render the risk of secondary infection at an absolute minimum. Your Pueblo dentist will finally fill and seal the canal space using exceptionally strong and impervious dental cement.

In cases where a large portion of the tooth structure has gone missing as a result of accidental trauma, or has been required to be removed due to extensive decay, Pueblo dentists may place a titanium post or screw in the canal space to provide ‘anchorage’ for a ceramic dental crown or ‘cap’. This restoration is carefully fabricated to be virtually indistinguishable from any natural healthy tooth, say Pueblo dentists. Furthermore, its durability enables patients to eat all the foods they love without discrimination.

FAQ 5: How do I know if I need root canal therapy?

Answer: Only a qualified and experienced Pueblo dentist will be able to tell you whether the procedure you need to get your oral health back on track is root canal therapy. However, there are certain signs and indications that point towards an infected and decayed tooth; signs that should not be ignored if you are to save the tooth and avoid the need for dental implants. If you ever notice any of the following symptoms in any combination, immediately make an appointment with your Pueblo dentist. Only timely treatment will prevent the affected tooth or teeth from being lost and the need to have them replaced with dental implants:

  • Tooth Ache: Most notably, an infected pulp chamber or root canal/s presents with pain, says the Pueblo dentist. This can range in intensity, but as a rule peDental implantsrsistent tooth ache, whether it’s mild or intolerable, should never be ignored.
  • Prolonged Sensitivity to Temperature Extremes: If biting into a cold ice cream or sipping on hot coffee causes unusual sensitivity of a tooth or several teeth; you should schedule an appointment with your Pueblo dentist to make sure that there aren’t more sinister problems behind your symptoms.
  • Tooth discoloration: Tooth decay causes the natural color of the tooth crown to change from pearly white to dark yellow, brown, gray and even green. Seek immediate attention from your Pueblo dentist if you want to avoid tooth loss and the need for dental implants.
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums: The body’s natural response to infection is inflammation and swelling, say Pueblo dentist.

Pueblo Dentists: Stay Tuned…

For more frequently asked questions about root canal therapy and how it can save you from needing dental implants, stay tuned for the final installment of this three-part article series, courtesy of qualified and experienced Pueblo dentists, Dr. Rogers and Dr. Bull.