From The Office Of Dr Andrew Kim

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23/Apr/2019

TEETH ARE ALIVE, just like every other part of the body. That means they are susceptible to infection. Whenever an infection becomes severe enough, the tainted part has to go or else all the surrounding tissue will be compromised as well and the patient’s life will be at risk! That’s where a root canal comes in.

What Is A Root Canal?

Root canals are a way of getting rid of the infection in a tooth without getting rid of the actual tooth. A root canal won’t save your tooth—by the time you need one, it’s too late for that, but it will allow you to keep it.

A dentist will drill into the tooth to reach the infected pulp at its core. Next, the pulp is removed, leaving the tooth hollow. After the space is flushed out, the root is filled with sealer and the crown with cement, and the whole tooth is capped off with an artificial crown. This procedure ensures that no more bacteria can get inside the tooth and minimizes the chances of the tooth breaking.

To get a better understanding of what’s involved in root canal treatment, check out the video below:

When Do You Need One?

The way teeth become infected is through decay, cavities, or cracks from an injury, which means it’s usually an avoidable problem. If you’re brushing and flossing properly, your teeth are unlikely to reach a level of decay that allows bacteria to reach the living dental pulp inside them. However, some people are genetically more susceptible to tooth decay.

Infection can lead to an abscess at the tooth’s root or death of the pulp. If you have tooth decay extensive enough to require a root canal, you’ll probably be experiencing significant pain in and around the infected tooth. With an abscess, there will also be swelling and inflammation. Tooth pain alone isn’t always a sign of an infection, but it’s always worth checking out to make sure.

Other symptoms of tooth infection include:

  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to pressure (particularly when chewing)
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes under jaw
  • Rush of foul-tasting fluid and pain relief if abscess drains

Before You Get A Root Canal…

  • Is a root canal necessary?
  • Will my tooth recover?
  • Why did the pulp die?
  • Are there any alternative treatments?
  • What happens if I don’t do the root canal?
  • Should I skip the root canal and go right to the implant?
  • Will my infection spread to other teeth or to my bone?
  • How predictable is the treatment?
  • And finally: Should I see a specialist or can you do as good of a job as a specialist can?

Root Canal vs. Dental Implant

Ask your dentist about the predictability of success of a root canal and talk about the risks and benefits of alternative solutions like dental implants. Ultimately, this is something that you and your dentist have to decide together, after you consider all the options for your unique case. Learn more about dental implants here.

Keep Those Teeth Healthy!

Remember that preventing the problem is always better than needing a solution! Healthy teeth don’t need root canals, so keep brushing twice a day and flossing daily and cut back on sugary drinks so that your teeth will stay healthy! Call us or book an appointment to visit us today for a dental checkup or if you need a second opinion on anything related to teeth!

We appreciate you, our valued patients and friends!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Dentalopolis

3779 Riley Fuzzel Rd Suite 400
Spring TX 77386
832-510-3282
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Dentalopolis is a family & cosmetic practice dedicated to dental excellence and patient comfort.
Just like our family, we treat all patients with dignity and provide premium quality dental care. If you are looking for a dentist who will treat you with respect and compassion, Dentalopolis is here for you!

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