July 22, 2018
Living in Petaluma allows residents to enjoy picturesque natural beauty while savoring simple luxuries like a good glass of wine. But the sweet taste of your favorite vintage may leave you with a sour expression if you’re suffering from tooth pain. Fortunately, modern dental medicine offers a number of ways to restore your wellbeing, including root canal therapy. Let’s take a closer view of this effective, often misunderstood approach.
A Look Inside the Average Tooth
Your teeth are made up of three layers: the exterior enamel, an interior material called dentin, and a substance called pulp that contains blood vessels and nerve endings. Harmful bacteria work their way through each of these as they spread to your gums, causing ever greater discomfort along the way. Here are some other symptoms you may notice:
- Dark or stained spots on your teeth.
- Hot flashes or cold chills.
- Pain when drinking something hot, cold, or sweet.
In the past, relieving this problem often required removing the tooth. However, this can weaken the entire structure of the mouth and jaw, leading to more serious issues down the road. For this reason, tooth extractions should only be used only in emergencies or as a last resort.
Root Canal Therapy to the Rescue
Root canals prevent the problems associated with extractions by leaving the tooth itself intact while removing the infected material. The result is freedom from harmful decay-causing bacteria and normal function of the teeth and jaw.
Your dentist will begin the treatment process with an X-ray of your teeth to confirm that a root canal is needed. He will explain how the therapy works and answer any questions you may have.
Your dentist will use anesthetics to prevent pain during the procedure. She may also employ a mild sedative to help you relax. She will enter the infected tooth through the crown, giving her access to the pulp.
Once she has cleared the diseased tissue, she will clean the tooth with germ-killing medicines, fill the tooth with a special protective compound, and insert a temporary cap on the top. You will leave her office with this cap in place. You may also receive analgesics to relieve any discomfort you feel afterwards.
During a follow-up visit, your dentist will replace the temporary cap with a permanent crown or restoration, giving you long-term recovery and allowing you to look and feel your best going forward. Afterwards, you need only brush and floss as usual and see your doctor for periodic cleanings and checkups.
You may have heard unpleasant stories from people who have undergone root canals in the past. Let’s counter those frightening tales with a look at recent developments in dental science:
- Today’s X-ray techniques allow dentists to treat problem areas with pinpoint precision unimagined just a few years ago.
- Nickel-titanium instruments enable dentists to better prepare the tooth for fillings and restorations.
- Improved irrigating solutions ensure that 100% of infected pulp is removed.
Don’t let misconceptions and antiquated information keep you from enjoying lasting relief. See your dentist today for brighter, healthier smiles tomorrow.
About the Author
Dr. Koenitzer is a Petaluma native who attended the prestigious dental school at the University of California San Francisco. He and his team employ only the latest techniques to ensure their patient’s continued health and well-being. You can reach Dr. Koenitzer through his website or by calling (707) 766-666.
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