Posts for tag: Root Canal
As a new permanent tooth develops, the roots undergo a process of breakdown and growth. As older cells dissolve (a process called resorption), they’re replaced by newer cells laid down (deposition) as the jaw develops. Once the jaw development ends in early adulthood, root resorption normally stops. It’s a concern, then, if it continues.
Abnormal root resorption most often begins outside of the tooth and works its way in, beginning usually around the neck-like (or cervical) region of the tooth. Also known as external cervical resorption (ECR), the condition usually shows first as pink spots where the enamel is being undermined. As these spots continue to erode, they develop into cavity-like areas.
While its causes haven’t been fully confirmed, ECR has been linked to excessive pressure on teeth during orthodontic treatment, periodontal ligament trauma, teeth-grinding or other excessive force habits, and bleaching techniques performed inside a tooth. Fortunately, ECR is a rare occurrence, and most people who’ve had these problems won’t experience it.
When it does occur, though, it must be treated as quickly as possible because the damage can progress swiftly. Treatment depends on the size and location of the resorption: a small site can often be treated by surgically accessing the tooth through the gum tissue and removing the offending tissue cells. This is often followed with tooth-colored dental material that’s bonded to the tooth to replace lost structure.
A root canal treatment may be necessary if the damage has extended to the pulp, the tooth’s interior. However, there’s a point where the resorption becomes too extensive to save the tooth. In these cases, it may be necessary to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or similar tooth restoration.
In its early stages, ECR may be difficult to detect, and even in cases where it’s been diagnosed more advanced diagnostics like a CBCT scanner may be needed to gauge the extent of damage. In any case, it’s important that you have your teeth examined on a regular basis, at least twice a year. In the rare chance you’ve developed ECR, the quicker it’s found and treatment begun, the better your chances of preserving the tooth.
If you have a tooth that hurts, your first thought might be to have the tooth removed. Don’t do it, because then you will be faced with an incomplete smile, or replacing the tooth with a dental appliance or implant. Instead of removing the tooth, you can eliminate your tooth pain and keep the tooth, thanks to root canal therapy. Dr. Robert DiGiorgio at Downtown Parker Dental in Parker, CO, offers root canal treatment that can save your smile.
How do you know if you need a root canal? The truth is, you may not feel any pain and still need a root canal. Common non-painful signs you might need a root canal include:
- A tooth becoming darker or grayer than the teeth next to it
- A red or white bump appearing on your gums next to a tooth root
- Drainage which can include blood or pus coming from the bump on your gums
Usually you will have some painful symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal. You need to pay attention to:
- Pain that increases when a tooth is exposed to hot or cold foods or beverages
- Acute, sharp pain when you bite down or chew
- Increasing pain even after a filling or crown are placed
- Chronic throbbing, aching tooth pain
When you experience the signs and symptoms listed above, it means the innermost layer of your tooth, known as the pulp, has been bruised, damaged, or is infected. The pulp is where the blood supply and nerves to the tooth are located. When the pulp is damaged, inflammation starts. Fluid builds up inside your tooth, causing pressure and pain.
During root canal treatment, your dentist will create a small opening in the top of your tooth and remove the diseased tissue through the opening. He will place a sedative material inside your tooth to allow the inflammation and fluid to resolve. After your symptoms are gone, he will remove the sedative material and fill your tooth with an inert material. The last step is closing the opening with a small filling. Your root canal is complete, your symptoms are gone, and you still have your tooth.
A root canal can save your tooth and your smile. To find out more about the benefits of root canal therapy and other dental services, call your dentist, Dr. Robert DiGiorgio, at Downtown Parker Dental in Parker, CO, today!