Signs You May Need a Root Canal
By Peter Elton DMD, PLLC
November 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

OK, you admit it. You should be able to chew a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without pain. You think one of your teeth may be cracked root canalor lost one of its many fillings. Is it time for root canal therapy from your Gig Harbor, WA dentist, Dr. Peter Elton or Dr. Douglas Clarke at Cedarbrook Dental?

A common but important procedure

That's what root canal therapy is. Because it is so common (41,000 per day in the US alone, says the American Association of Endodontists), both patients and dentists may take it for granted. However, this reliable restoration works exceptionally well to save teeth compromised by infection, oral trauma, deep decay and fracture. Dr. Elton or Dr. Clarke actually remove the pulp from deep inside the tooth's canals, seal it and crown it, preserving it for years of service.

What tells the Gig Harbor, WA, dentist you need root canal therapy? X-rays, visual inspection and symptoms such as the following are diagnostic:

  • Throbbing pain
  • Drainage
  • Persistent bad breath not relieved with mouth rinse
  • A pimple on the gums
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Pain when chewing
  • Dental sensitivity to sugar, cold or heat

Also, some deeply damaged teeth are discolored or have a visible crack.

How it works

To begin root canal therapy, your dentist will numb the tooth and then access its interior chambers, or root canals, with a high speed drill. He'll carefully remove the pulp (which is highly vascular and innervated) with several small metal files. He'll also instill antibiotics and seal each root canal with gutta-percha, a biocompatible and inert putty. Finally, the dentist covers the tooth with a temporary crown.

After healing at home, you'll return to Cedarbrook Dental for removal of the temporary restoration and placement of a porcelain crown. Dr. Clarke and Dr. Elton are confident in root canal procedures and see their patients keep their treated teeth indefinitely, avoiding costly tooth replacement and deleterious effects gaps have on appearance, tooth alignment, jaw bone and gum tissue density and oral function.

Don't delay

Come on into Cedarbrook Dental, and get that tooth evaluated. If your Gig Harbor, WA, dentist advises root canal therapy, rest assured you'll get precise, comfortable and kindly care. Contact the office team for an appointment: (253) 851-1190.