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Root canal treatment, also called endodontic therapy, is used for one reason only: to save a decayed tooth. And thanks to advances in dental technology and training, a root canal is now fairly simple and free of discomfort.

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The purpose of a root canal is to save the tooth. When the nerve in the tooth becomes infected, you have two choices. You can either have the tooth taken out, or you can have the nerve removed, which is called a root canal. With a root canal, you can actually save a person's tooth, and they last a long time. If a patient doesn't want to lose their tooth, that is their option. Root canals are just like doing anything else we do. We get you really numb; there's really no pain involved. The pain associated with root canals is because patient comes in, and they have an infected tooth, and then it's hard to get them numb. A lot of times, I'll have the patient on antibiotics before we do the root canal just to settle everything down. We do root canals just about as painlessly now, so it's just not like it used to be.

When bacteria infecting the pulp of a tooth have gone untreated for too long, sometimes traditional treatments like fillings or dental crowns aren’t appropriate. The bacteria have done too much damage for simple procedures to repair, and doing so would only delay the problem until it becomes huge. If the damage is too extensive, extracting or removing the tooth entirely could be needed. But a root canal can save a badly infected tooth and keep you from an expensive dental extraction. Although root canals in the past may have been something to worry about, Dr. Dine’s modern techniques and training help root canals to be safer, more comfortable, and even more straightforward.

Do You Need A Root Canal?

A root canal is needed if an infection has reached the inner chamber of the tooth that houses the dental pulp. The dental pulp consists of blood vessels that nourish the tooth as well as nerves that trigger pain when irritated. If infection is left untreated, it will kill the dental pulp, destroy bone, and spread to surrounding areas. This will lead to you losing the tooth and requiring a bridge or dental implant to fill the unsightly gap.

If you experience any of the following symptoms of dental pulp infection, do not wait. Call your dentist in Fairfield, OH right away:

  • Severe toothache that may disappear and return
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus-filled abscess near the aching tooth
  • Loose teeth

However, sometimes there are little to no symptoms at all. That’s why it’s so important to have regular cleanings and exams, so Dr. Dine has the opportunity to catch any infection before it spreads. You can learn more about our dental cleanings and exams here.

How Are Root Canals Done?

Thanks to advances in dental technology and techniques, root canals are now fairly simple. First, we confirm that a root canal is even necessary, usually by using digital X-rays. Once the examination is complete, Dr. Dine will speak with you about the results and to determine a course of treatment best suited for your particular case. Our goal is to keep your original teeth whenever possible, so a root canal can be the best option, as that will save the tooth.

If a root canal is decided upon, we will thoroughly clean the area and deliver a local anesthetic. We use DentalVibe, a unique method of controlled vibrations that shut down pain, so your local anesthetic will not hurt at all. If you have some anxiety about the procedure, we can use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to ensure you are relaxed and comfortable.

Once you are comfortable, Dr. Dine will make an opening in your tooth so he can get to the infected pulp. Special tools are used to remove all of the infected pulp and kill any remaining bacteria. A sterile filling material is used to seal the opening, and a natural-looking dental crown is bonded over it. This not only protects the tooth, but it also prevents the pulp from getting reinfected and allows you to eat, drink, and chew naturally. You’re not just saving the tooth — you’re returning it to its natural, healthy state.

A root canal used to be a complicated procedure, but with the new tools and training available at Dr. Dine’s office, they are straightforward and fairly simple. If you would like to save your tooth and end the pain and discomfort, call our office today at 513‑823‑2575 or contact us through our online form. There’s no need to suffer with an infected tooth, nor must you lose that tooth, especially not when modern root canals can comfortably correct the problem and save the tooth.

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