How to Save Your Teeth From Extraction
Your teeth are essential for certain daily tasks such as eating, speaking, and smiling. However, your teeth aren’t indestructible and decay and trauma can damage their enamel, putting your oral health at risk. When damage to your enamel exposes the dental pulp, the collection of nerves and living tissues housed in the hollow spaces (root canals) of your teeth, bacteria can reach them and cause infection.
Oral infection needs to be addressed as soon as possible before it can cause further damage to your teeth and your overall health by spreading to other parts of your body. Fortunately, at Desert Hills Dental Care, our talented Farmington dentists can intervene to save your teeth through root canal therapy.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy involves removing infected dental pulp and decayed enamel from a tooth, then sealing the tooth off to prevent further infection. Oral infection becomes more likely to occur when damage to your teeth goes unaddressed for an extended period of time. Failing to have cavities, holes, cracks, and chips in your teeth repaired in a timely manner makes you more prone to infection. If infection goes unaddressed for too long, it may become impossible to save the tooth.
Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
The root canal process provides a wide variety of benefits including:
- Saving teeth from extraction
- Eliminating the need for more costly restorations and invasive procedures
- Eliminating pain and throbbing caused by damage and infection
- Preventing the infection from spreading
- Preventing further tooth decay
- Helping to enhance and preserve your oral and overall health
Signs That You May Need Root Canal Therapy
While the only way to know the state of a tooth for certain is to see your dental professional, there are signs you should look out for. Common signs that you may need a root canal include:
- Overcrowding of the teeth
- Difficulty chewing
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Dental trauma
- Damage to the soft tissue and bone surrounding the tooth
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Severe tooth pain
- Loosening of the tooth
- Swollen gums or abscesses on the gums
The Root Canal Treatment Process
Before you can receive root canal therapy, you’ll attend an initial consultation where one of our talented Farmington dentists will examine your mouth, review your medical history, and discuss your smile goals with you. The information they gather during this visit will allow them to determine if root canal therapy is the right solution for you. Once you and your dentist have agreed on root canal therapy, we’ll schedule you for your next appointment.
Before your dentist begins your procedure, we’ll rinse your mouth to clear it of debris. Then, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to the area around the affected tooth and make sure it’s working properly. To keep saliva out of the surgical area, we’ll apply a rubber dam around the tooth.
Your dentist will drill into the targeted tooth to gain access to the dental pulp. Then, they’ll remove the decayed material and infected tissue, fully cleaning out the tooth. Once the tooth is completely clean, your dentist will ensure bacteria can’t enter the tooth again by filling the root canals with a specialized dental plastic called gutta-percha. They’ll further seal the tooth with a composite filling, and cap off the tooth with a porcelain dental crown to restore strength, durability, and function.
Frequently Asked Questions
A damaged or infected tooth that doesn’t hurt sometimes indicates that the damage has completely destroyed the nerves. Remember that even a small amount of damage or decay can compromise the tooth’s structure, allowing bacteria to reach the dental pulp and cause infection.
Regardless of if your tooth is hurting you or not, if you suspect it has been damaged or infected, you should call Desert Hills Dental Care at (505) 327-4863 and schedule a consultation with one of our dentists as soon as possible. Our dentists will be able to determine how extensive the damage is and what the next step should be.
- Wait until the anesthetic has completely worn off before you start eating again, otherwise you may bite down too hard and damage your mouth or new crown.
- Some mild irritation, swelling, and/or tenderness after a root canal treatment is normal, but it should go away within a few days. The mild discomfort is easy to manage with a cold compress and over-the-counter pain medication.
- If your dentist prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed.
- Continue to practice proper oral hygiene post-procedure.
To help ensure your comfort, the team at Desert Hills Dental Care uses a safe, effective local anesthetic for procedures like root canal therapy. In cases where the nerves are dead, anesthesia may not even be necessary. You can expect a pain-free procedure with some possible mild discomfort after.
It usually takes about a week or less to recover from a root canal treatment but that timeframe can vary based on your post-op habits, your unique physiology, and how extensive the damage to your tooth was. Your dentists will be sure to supply you with guidelines to follow to help ensure you heal properly and recover in a timely manner.
Root Canal Therapy Can Save Your Smile — Call & Learn More!
After discovering an oral infection, our dentists may be able to save your natural teeth from loss or extraction by performing root canal therapy. Root canal therapy can help enhance and preserve your oral health by stopping the spread of infection, preserving the integrity of the tooth, and allowing you to avoid restorations such as dental implants that require more invasive procedures to place.
The sooner you schedule an appointment for an exam, the better our chances of effectively treating an infection with root canal therapy are. Don’t wait to receive treatment any longer, call Desert Hills Dental Care at our Farmington, NM office by dialing (505) 327-4863 or request an appointment online and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly.