Root Canals in Butler, PA
According to the American Association of Endodontists, 15 million root canal procedures are carried out each year in the United States. Root canals are complex procedures that can help relieve pain from a damaged or infected tooth.
Brockley Dental offers root canals to residents of Butler, PA, and the greater Pittsburgh area. Learn more about what root canals are and why you may need one.
What Is a Root Canal?
Bacteria can enter a tooth and cause an infection. To save the tooth, you may need to get a root canal. During this procedure, we remove the infected pulp in the tooth and seal it to prevent further infections. We then provide a filling to ensure that the tooth works as it should.
A tooth’s pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that help it grow. In some cases, the pulp can become infected, and the tooth’s crown, which is the part you can see, can still look intact.
There are several signs that you may need a root canal. These can include:
- Tooth pain that doesn’t go away
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Swollen jaw
- Swollen gums
- Pimples on the gums
- Tooth discoloration
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Pain when applying pressure to a tooth
- Loose teeth
Damaged tooth pulp can have many causes. A chipped or cracked tooth can allow bacteria into the pulp, leading to an infection. Similarly, an untreated cavity can cause tooth decay that affects the pulp. An injury to the tooth can also damage the pulp, even if it doesn’t damage the crown.
Damaged pulp can cause severe pain. The best thing you can do to resolve it is to reach out to our team. We can assess the problem and determine whether a root canal is the best option.
The ideal candidates for root canals are those with tooth decay that’s severe enough to have gone through the enamel and into the dentin, or the inner surface of the tooth. The tooth must still be structurally sound in order to support a crown. If it isn’t, you may need to have it extracted.
The Benefits of Root Canals
At Brockley Dental, we recommend root canals over tooth extractions whenever possible.
Root canals can prevent the loss of the tooth. By removing the pulp and leaving the tooth structure intact, we can install a crown that protects the tooth from further infections. Extractions, on the other hand, can leave gaps that are prone to infections and other damage.
A root canal can also help prevent the infection from spreading to neighboring teeth. If there’s an accumulation of bacteria in a tooth that goes untreated, the germs can spread, leading to more tooth decay and potential tooth loss, as well as damage to the gums.
Root canals also leave the root and tooth in place, which can help prevent jawbone deterioration. Your jawbone receives stimulation from the tooth’s root, so if the root is gone, bone loss is inevitable.
Equally importantly, root canals also help you maintain a beautiful smile. Tooth extraction can put holes in your smile, requiring you to spend more money on implants. Root canals leave the tooth in place and simply remove the infected tissue.
Undergoing Root Canals
If you have symptoms that point to the need for a root canal, we urge you to reach out to Donald B. Brockley, DMD, and E. Ahono Gildersleeve, DDS, at Brockley Dental for a consultation.
During your consultation, we’ll assess the damage to the tooth to determine whether a root canal will offer the best results. We’ll ask you about your medical history and any medications you take and will likely take X-rays to evaluate the extent of the damage.
We welcome any questions you may have about the process and our available payment options. Although we don’t work directly with insurers, we do submit claims on our patients’ behalf. We also offer CareCredit financing that allows patients to pay for their treatments in convenient installments.
We take our time with each of our patients to ensure that they never feel rushed through the consultation or any subsequent treatment sessions.
To prepare for a root canal, we may give you antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to take a few days before the procedure. It’s important to take them as advised.
We recommend that you stop smoking for at least two weeks before your root canal, as tobacco can interfere with your body’s natural healing process. You’ll also want to avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before the procedure and do your best to get a good night’s sleep.
Overview of the Procedure
On the day of the procedure, you’ll receive local anesthesia, so you’ll need to have someone with you to drive you home. If you commonly experience dental anxiety, you can also opt to receive sedation via nitrous oxide or oral sedatives.
We’ll place a rubber dam over the tooth, which will keep it dry during the procedure. Then, we’ll create a hole in the crown to access the tooth’s pulp, which we’ll remove.
Once we’ve extracted the infected pulp, we’ll clean and disinfect the area before reshaping it and filling it with a special rubbery material that’s highly flexible. Finally, we’ll install a temporary dental filling to seal the tooth. Most people need a crown over the tooth to protect it and restore their bite.
The entire procedure may take between 30 and 60 minutes, not counting the time needed to install the crown; root canals on multiple teeth can take longer. The lab that creates the customized crowns can take two to three weeks to deliver your crown.
Recovering from a Root Canal
Following your root canal, you’ll want to take the dentist-prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. These can keep you comfortable and can help prevent a new infection.
Make it a point to avoid eating anything until the numbness from the anesthesia wears off. That way, you won’t end up accidentally biting your cheeks or tongue.
You’ll need to brush the area with care as you recover and eat foods that are easy on your teeth, including soups and soft or mashed foods.
Avoid exercising for a few days to give your body time to recover from the procedure and get as much rest as you can. We’ll usually schedule a follow-up appointment to check on the healing, so make sure you attend your appointment.
Get Help at Brockley Dental
Having a tooth infection can be extremely painful. For most people, the best option is to seek a root canal from an experienced dental professional. A root canal will allow you to keep your tooth while removing the infected pulp that causes so much discomfort.
The father and daughter team of Donald B. Brockley, DMD, and E. Ahono Gildersleeve, DDS, at Brockley Dental are ready to help patients in the Butler and greater Pittsburgh areas of Pennsylvania.
We have more than 30 years of experience providing quality services to our patients. We treat every patient we see like our own family and are always happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Don’t spend another day in unnecessary pain from an infected tooth. Call Brockley Dental today to schedule your consultation.