Posts for tag: Root Canal
Remembered fondly by fans as the wacky but loveable Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro is currently in his fifth year hosting America's Funniest Videos. It's the perfect gig for the 48-year-old actor, who loves to laugh and make others laugh as well. This is quite the opposite experience from one he had a few years ago that he remembers all too well: a severely decayed tooth.
After seeing his dentist for an intense toothache, Ribeiro learned he had advanced tooth decay and would need root canal treatment. Ribeiro wasn't thrilled by the news. Like many of us, he thought the procedure would be unpleasant. But he found afterward that not only was the root canal painless, his toothache had vanished.
More importantly, the root canal treatment saved his tooth, as it has for millions of others over the last century. If you're facing a situation similar to Alfonso Ribeiro's, here's a quick look at the procedure that could rescue your endangered tooth.
Getting ready. In preparation for root canal therapy, the tooth and surrounding gums are numbed, often first with a swab of local anesthesia to deaden the surface area in preparation for the injection of the main anesthesia below the surface. A dental dam is then placed to isolate the infected tooth from its neighbors to prevent cross-contamination.
Accessing the interior. To get to the infection, a small access hole is drilled. The location depends on the tooth: in larger back teeth, a hole is drilled through the biting surface, and in front teeth, a hole is drilled on the backside. This access allows us to insert special tools to accomplish the next steps in the procedure.
Cleaning, shaping and filling. Small tools are used to remove the diseased tissue from the interior tooth pulp and root canals. Then the empty spaces are disinfected. This, in effect, stops the infection. Next, the root canals inside the tooth are shaped to allow them to better accept a special filling called gutta percha. The access hole is then sealed to further protect the tooth from future infection, and a temporary crown is placed.
A new crown to boot. Within a couple weeks, we'll cap the tooth with a long-lasting lifelike crown (or a filling on certain teeth). This adds further protection for the tooth against infection, helps strengthen the tooth's structure, and restores the tooth's appearance.
Without this procedure, the chances of a tooth surviving this level of advanced decay are very slim. But undergoing a root canal, as Alfonso Ribeiro did, can give your tooth a real fighting chance.
If you would like more information about root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?”
A root canal is an endodontic procedure that requires our York, PA, dentist Dr. Robert Hoffmaster to remove the tooth’s dental pulp (the soft tissue that lies inside the tooth) when it’s inflamed or infected in order to preserve the health of the tooth.
Even though your tooth won’t always tell you whether you might need root canal treatment, which is why it’s so important to keep up with those six-month dental checkups, here are some warning signs and symptoms that you might require root canal treatment.
A Persistent or Severe Toothache
Are you dealing with a toothache that just won’t quit? Does the pain get worse when putting pressure on the tooth or biting down? The pain may be dull and achy or sharp and stabbing. No matter how severe the pain is if you are dealing with a toothache this symptom is considered a dental emergency. It’s time to see your general dentist in York, PA.
Sudden or Lingering Sensitivity
Have you suddenly noticed that one of your teeth is dealing with sudden and prolonged sensitivity when introduced to hot or cold foods? If you notice that the sensitivity lasts even once the tooth is no longer exposed to the food or drink, this could very well be a sign that you need root canal therapy.
Discoloration or Darkening of the Tooth
If your tooth has suddenly turned grey this could be a warning sign of an underlying infection within the dental pulp that has now reached the roots of the tooth.
If you notice that the gums surrounding the sensitive or pained tooth are swollen this is another indication that you may require a root canal. While widespread swelling may be a warning sign of gum disease, if there is only swelling around one tooth this might mean that you have an infected dental pulp.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms then it’s time to schedule an appointment with our dental as soon as possible. During root canal therapy we will remove the infected pulp and any infected tissue, as well as clean out and seal up the roots of the tooth.
It’s important that if you suspect that you might need root canal therapy that you come in for an evaluation as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading. Call Hoffmaster Dental in York, PA, if you are dealing with a toothache or other symptoms.