Root Canal Therapy in Laurel, MD, and Bowie, MD
Root canal therapy, a type of endodontic treatment, is undertaken to relieve pain or inflammation in a patient’s tooth. “Endo” means inside—which makes sense, because your dentist will be treating the inside of your tooth. There are many other types of endodontic treatments, but root canal therapy is the most common for this kind of pain relief.
Understanding a tooth’s anatomy is the first step to understanding why someone might require root canal therapy. Inside each tooth, underneath the visible white enamel and dentin layer, is a soft tissue called the pulp. Blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues make up the pulp, which extends from the crown (top) of the tooth to the end of the roots. As a tooth develops, the pulp is integral in making sure it survives, but after a tooth reaches maturity, it can survive off of the tissues surrounding the tooth.
When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, root canal therapy is required to relieve the pain and prevent an abscess (a painful, infected mass) from forming. Common causes of inflammation are deep decay from frequent dental procedures or a crack or chip from injury to the tooth.
Signs You Need Root Canal Therapy
There are numerous symptoms that may require root canal therapy. While not always pleasant, it’s important to know the signs to avoid further pain or discomfort.
- Sensitivity to hot food or drink
- Sensitivity to cold food or drink
- Prolonged sensitivity to sugary foods
- Pain to the touch
- Pain while chewing or talking
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Redness or swelling of the surrounding gum or bone tissues
- Drainage from the base of the tooth
If you notice any of these signs or feel prolonged pain around any tooth, reach out to us today. The team at Dr. Batz & Weiner will be happy to assess your issue for potential solutions. This process generally includes an examination and an X-ray to determine the severity of the problem.
Root Canal Procedure
If root canal therapy is required, the endodontist will numb the tooth before beginning with the procedure. Next, a small opening is made in the crown (very top) of the tooth. The pulp will be removed from the root canal, which is then cleaned and shaped. After the cleaning, you’ll receive a filling and the space will be packed with a material that will be then be sealed with a biocompatible adhesive. Eventually, you’ll return to the dentist to have a permanent crown placed in the tooth.
You can expect to feel pressure during the procedure, but commonly used anesthetics should prevent any pain felt during the root canal therapy. In the days following the procedure, you may feel some sensitivity to the area—but nothing compared to the pain and discomfort caused by an infected tooth.
Teeth treated with root canal therapy generally last as long as other teeth without a need for further procedures. If you’re experiencing pain in one (or more) of your teeth, reach out to us today for relief.