Signs You May Need a Root Canal

By Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S.
December 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Your lower left molar hurts when you chew on it. Also, you detect a little swelling on your jaw and gums. Is your tooth in trouble? Dr. Bruce root canalSchechter, a family dentist in Milford, CT, sees patients with similar symptoms all the time, and he evaluates them for root canal therapy. This predictable tried and true restorative treatment is comfortable and relieves a long list of symptoms. You can save your painful molar if you qualify for a root canal.

What happens during root canal therapy

Dr. Schechter performs root canal therapy on premolars and molars that have:

  • Extensive decay
  • Deep fracture from accident or simple wear and tear
  • Enamel discoloration
  • Multiple restorations
  • Drainage
  • Pain upon chewing
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold

Patients who need root canal treatment also may present with jaw swelling, a pimple on reddened gums, persistent bad breath, and a low-grade fever.

To determine if you are a candidate for this tooth-saving treatment, your family dentist in Milford will look at your tooth and its surrounding gum tissue. He'll take digital X-rays to view its root structure and underlying jaw bone. If he feels the tooth is basically viable, he'll perform a root canal procedure in just two visits using locally-injected anesthetic.

To begin, Dr. Schecter drills a hole in the tooth to access the interior chambers, or canals. These chambers contain supportive tissue, blood supply and nerves. Fortunately, the tooth can function well and last for decades without this pulp.

To extract the pulp, your Milford family dentist employs several tiny metal files. These files also smooth the canal walls. To disinfect the tooth, the dentist instills antimicrobial medication and seals each chamber with a natural substance called gutta-percha. To finish this initial procedure, Dr. Schechter places a temporary dental filling or crown, protecting the tooth as it heals over the next week to ten days.

When you return to the office. the dentist will remove the temporary restoration and bond a realistic porcelain crown in its place. He'll ensure the fit and bite are perfect.

The advantages of root canal therapy

Unfortunately, root canal therapy has an undeserved reputation for being painful, lengthy and unsuccessful. In actuality, the opposite is true. This restoration is comfortable, relieves pain and other symptoms, takes just a couple of hours and works 95 percent of the time, according to the American Academy of Endodontists.

Best of all, you get to keep your natural tooth. You avoid expensive tooth replacements, and your other natural teeth stay strong and well-aligned. In short, there's nothing like your own, healthy teeth for best smile aesthetics, oral function, and durability.

Have questions?

Let Dr. Schechter and his dedicated team answer them. Root canal therapy could be just what you need for a great smile. Call your family dentist in Milford, CT today: (203) 878-1787.

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