The inner pulp of your teeth may be out of sight, but it’s absolutely vital to your oral health. When a tooth’s pulp becomes infected, it can be one of the most painful dental problems you’ll ever face, so it’s important to find a dentist who’s experienced and educated in endodontics. Richard Rhoads, Jr., DDS, skillfully diagnoses and treats tooth pain at his practice, Smiles by the Lake, in Overland Park, Kansas. Call today to make an appointment or make one online with the scheduling tool.
Endodontics is a special field of dentistry that focuses on the health and pathology of the dental pulp and root tissues of a tooth. Endodontists have completed at least two more years of study beyond dental school, making them specialists at diagnosing tooth pain and performing treatments related to the inside of a tooth.
The most commonly performed endodontic procedure is the root canal, but endodontics also focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of all injuries and diseases to the root tissue.
Sometimes, tooth decay can penetrate beyond the protective outer layer of enamel that shields your teeth, and begin to attack the pulp inside the tooth’s root canal. This pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that are vital to the tooth’s long-term health, and once decay reaches the pulp, it can spread very quickly. A root canal procedure is necessary once the decay has damaged the tooth so extensively that a filling will not be enough to save the tooth.
Yes, it is always better to save as much of the tooth as possible. A root canal procedure will allow the root of the tooth to stay in place in your mouth, which will help you avoid potential future complications like further tooth loss.
A root canal procedure is actually very similar to the procedure for a standard filling. While the root canal has gotten a nasty reputation over the years, the painful part is the infection itself, not the procedure. While you may feel some discomfort or pressure, it should be similar to most other dental procedures.
First, Dr. Rhoads takes an X-ray of the tooth and surrounding area to confirm that its healthy enough for a root canal. Then, he anesthetizes the tooth and surrounding areas.
Dr. Rhoads drills a small hole in the tooth and then use a tiny dental tool to clean the tooth’s interior thoroughly, removing all bacteria and pulp. Once the pulp has been removed, the tooth will be filled and sealed to prevent future infection. The final step may involve restoration of the tooth to give it a normal appearance and shape. This may involve a dental filling or a crown.
If you need a root canal or would like to learn more about endodontic treatment, call Smiles by the Lake today, or make an appointment online.