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’re like many people, two little words may strike fear in your heart. Those words? Root canal. Some people are even more nervous about having a root canal than having a tooth pulled. But your Macon dentists Clinton M. Watson, DDS, MBA and Nicole L. Jackson, DDS, at Northside Family Dentistry want you to know that there are many myths about root canals that are simply unfounded. Dispelling those myths may help calm your fears about having the procedure.
Myth: Root Canals are a Painful Procedure
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, root canals should not be any more painful than any other dental procedure. Your dentist will numb your teeth and gums for the root canal and you should not experience any discomfort. If you experienced a toothache prior to the procedure, that pain should be relieved after the root canal is performed because it removes the infected tissue. If you are especially nervous, Macon patients have the option of choosing sedation dentistry which can calm your fears or even let you sleep during the procedure.
Myth: Root Canals are a Long Process
Truth: Most root canal procedures can be completed by your dentist in one or two dental appointments. After the root canal is performed, your dentist will then assess the type of tooth restoration that is necessary which may take additional dental visits.
Myth: Root Canals Can Cause Sickness
Truth: Once upon a time, some dentists believed that releasing the trapped bacteria in the tooth’s pulp could cause illness. But no current research supports this theory. Root canals do not appear to cause any illness.
Myth: Only an Aching Tooth Needs a Root Canal
Truth: Even if a tooth is not infected or hurting, it still may need a root canal. In some cases, a tooth is dead or dying and a root canal is necessary to prevent it from becoming infected. Your dentist will monitor your oral health at each visit and let you know if any of your teeth show signs of decay that may warrant a root canal.
If you’ve been nervous to make that dental appointment because you fear those two little words, fear no more. A root canal can be just what your teeth need in order to be saved and to stay intact. If you’re still nervous, Northside Family Dentistry in Macon, GA offers sedation dentistry that can help you through the procedure. Schedule an appointment today to talk to your dentist about the benefits of a root canal to save a tooth at (478) 475-1976.