Is there any dental procedure that's more feared and maligned than treatment for an infection in the tooth?
Root canal therapy gets a bad rap, an unfortunate misconception that makes patients less reluctant to seek treatment until the pain becomes unbearable.
Timely treatment preserves as much of your healthy tooth structure as possible and prevents further infection.
Dr. Spada, who offers treatment for root canals in Sudbury, MA, explains how delaying or altogether avoiding treatment affects your oral health and your quality of life.
Where Does the Name “Root Canal” Come From?
Another common misconception is that root canal is the name of the procedure itself. Not quite, says Dr. Spada, who notes that dentists usually use root canal therapy or root canal treatment.
Each of your teeth has a hollow core beneath a layer of enamel and dentin. A mass of blood vessels and nerves comprise the pulp, found in the center of your tooth. Tiny tubules, or canals, extend from the root and pulp outward. Without adequate protection from tooth enamel, the pulp becomes more susceptible to infections, and the tubules are exposed, with painful consequences.
How Does Dr. Spada Treat Root Canals?
If you make an appointment soon after experiencing discomfort, you have a greater chance that Dr. Spada can salvage the tooth and perform the procedure. Dr. Spada begins by creating a small hole in the tooth, gaining access to the infected tissue and pulp.
Using dental instruments, she carefully removes all debris and decay from the center, taking care to save the healthiest parts of the tooth. She seals the tooth to prevent further decay and infection, then tops it with a porcelain dental crown. This allows you to eat, speak, and preserve your remaining teeth with minimal adverse effects.
What If I’m Too Late for a Root Canal Treatment?
Waiting too long could result in the tooth becoming non-vital, in which case extraction is the only option. Although early treatment is ideal, we understand that the decision to postpone the procedure isn’t always a matter of personal preference, as some patients are not healthy enough to undergo even a relatively minor procedure.
Others are generally healthy but have an underlying medical condition that would interfere with their ability to quickly heal following treatment. Even if you require only a single extraction, Dr. Spada warns that life with missing teeth is detrimental to your general health.
When you lose teeth, your remaining teeth must pick up the slack, to speak, enduring more force and working harder. This makes them fragile and prone to chips and fractures. The teeth shift out of position, affecting your bite and increasing your risk of developing a painful condition called a temporomandibular joint disorder. We offer dental implants for one or more missing teeth, as well as dental bridges and dentures.
Taking action means keeping your tooth. To learn more about restorative dentistry in the Boston area, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Janice Spada, contact our Sudbury, MA dentist office at 978-443-3111. We welcome residents of Sudbury, Worcester, Marlborough, Framingham, and the neighboring suburbs.