Highly skilled endodontists in Troy, IL
Despite the many remarkable advances in prosthodontics in recent years, most dentists agree that there is no substitute for your own natural teeth. Historically speaking, a tooth with a diseased nerve would have to be extracted, necessitating implants, dentures, or other artificial solutions. Luckily, modern endodontics (the Greek literally translates to “inside the tooth”), more commonly known as a root canal, are more effective than ever at removing decay and preserving your tooth relatively painlessly. Dr. Knable at Market Street Family Dentist is extremely skilled and experienced in performing these procedures, so you can rest easier knowing that your smile is in good hands.
Reasons for endodontic treatment
There are many ways your tooth may become damaged to the point where a root canal is necessary. The most common problem is oral bacteria invading the pulp of the tooth through tiny fissures caused by decay or injury. Abscesses often form, and essentially cause the tooth to rot from the inside out. More severe fractures and chips on the surface or crown of the tooth will also leave the pulp beneath exposed to these bacteria. Blunt force trauma that dislodges the tooth from the socket similarly invites infection.
You may need a root canal if you experience any of the following: an abscess (or pimple) on the gums, sensitivity to heat and cold, severe toothaches, swelling, or tenderness. However, sometimes no symptoms of an infected root are present, which is why it is so important to schedule routine checkups with your dentist who can check for signs that you cannot detect on your own.
Root canal therapy
When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection, a root canal may be required to save the tooth. The living tissue inside the tooth (the pulp), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special medicated dental materials which restore the tooth to its full function. While root canals suffer a maligned reputation, modern techniques make the procedure relatively painless, and it is usually the best alternative to full extraction of an infected tooth.
How do root canals work?
Gone are the days when a root canal necessarily meant a pain-filled procedure. Once it is determined that a root canal is necessary, modern local anesthetics are applied to make the tooth numb. An opening will be created on the surface of the tooth, allowing access to the problematic interior. The infected pulp, nerve tissue, bacteria, and any decay that is present are then carefully removed using handheld instruments. The newly vacated space is then filled with a biocompatible material known as gutta-percha, which is somewhat similar to rubber. The tooth is then sealed with a permanent filling (or a crown when necessary), or a temporary one if multiple visits are required.
Fixing cracked teeth
There are many different types of cracked teeth. Some can only be exposed using X-ray machines, while others are clearly visible to the naked eye. In cases where the tooth root is affected, root canal therapy is the most viable treatment option. The pulp, nerves, and vessels of the tooth will be removed, and the resulting space will be filled with gutta-percha. A crown or filling will be added to stabilize the tooth, and it will continue to function as normal.
When the crack is too severe for the tooth to be saved, the dentist will perform an extraction. There are a number of restorative options in this case, such as bridges, dental implants, and partial dentures. All of these structures can restore biting, chewing, and speaking functions.
Endodontic Care in Troy, IL
To learn more about our endodontic services and how Dr. Taylor or Dr. Moody can help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile, call Market Street Family Dentist at 618-667-6101.
Market Street Family proudly serves the residents of Troy, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Marine, St. Jacob, Edwardsville, and other surrounding communities.
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