It's something more than 15 million people in the United States experience annually, reports the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). Root canal therapy is a common dental restoration, saving teeth that otherwise would be lost forever. At his office in North Vernon, IN, your family dentist, Dr. Scott Terry, helps patients keep their teeth strong, healthy, and beautiful through root canal treatments.
What is a root canal?
A narrow, pulp-filled chamber runs down the middle of each tooth root. For some teeth, that's up to four root canals. Yes, a root canal is an actual part of your tooth anatomy, and when extensive decay, infection, or injury damage its interior pulp, your whole tooth is in trouble. Root canal therapy from your family dentist in North Vernon could preserve it so you enjoy a complete smile and great oral health.
Do you need a root canal?
If your tooth is severely compromised, then root canal therapy likely can save it from extraction. Dr. Terry determines if the procedure will work by examining your tooth and X-raying it. He may test how it reacts to heat, cold, or pressure, and he'll review your symptoms. Many people come to the office with:
- A severe toothache
- A noticeable crack, chip, or lost filling
- Drainage and bad breath
- Discolored tooth enamel
Surprisingly, though, some individuals have few to no symptoms. However, Dr. Terry may notice a problem during a routine examination. That's why regular check-ups and cleanings are so important to keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Is it complicated?
Root canal therapy is no more complex than a deep filling or crown procedure. A root canal should cause very little discomfort and may save your tooth for many years.
During the first visit, Dr. Terry will give you a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. He'll enter each root canal via a small hole created with a high-speed drill. Through the hole, he'll remove the damaged tooth pulp, smoothing the canal walls. Antimicrobial medication and a sealant called gutta-percha finish the canals, and the dentist tops off the tooth with a temporary filling.
After a period of time for recuperation (your tooth may be a bit sore) your dentist may recommend strengthening the tooth with a crown. Your tooth will be strong, attractive, and completely functional.
When you see Dr. Terry for a root canal evaluation, rest assured you'll receive an honest and accurate evaluation of your tooth and its prognosis. Call today for your appointment in North Vernon, IN: (812) 346-4500.