Root Canal Therapy in Sedalia, MO
We know to expect a look of dread when we tell a patient they need root canal therapy to save their tooth. In some cases, patients come to our office with a dental emergency in the form of a severe toothache and are more concerned with “getting a root canal” than their current discomfort.
Root canal therapy has an unfair reputation with patients because they fear distress. It's important to realize that it's the days leading up to root canal treatment that are so painful. Root canal therapy actually helps to relieve symptoms and can save your tooth! In reality, the procedure itself should feel no different than a common filling.
Your dentist in Sedalia, MO provides gentle root canal therapy, easing toothaches and restoring oral health.
If you have a sensitive tooth or a toothache, it’s important to contact our dental office as soon as possible. Your toothache can escalate quickly and become excruciating without treatment. Meanwhile, check out the information below to learn more about root canal treatment in Sedalia, MO.
- Symptoms Leading to Root Canal Treatment
- What Happens if You Don't Seek Treatment?
- What Happens if You Do Need an Extraction?
- The Root Canal Therapy Process
- After Root Canal Therapy in Sedalia, MO
- Why Go Through All This to Save One Tooth?
- How to Lower Your Root Infection Risk
Symptoms Leading to Root Canal Treatment
As with all conditions, symptoms can vary wildly from patient to patient. Here are some of the most common signs that you may need a root canal to protect your oral health:
- Swelling in the jaw or face
- Throbbing pain
- Pain when you lie down
- Discoloration of your tooth
- A small pimple-like lesion on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot foods and beverages
- Pain when chewing or placing pressure on the tooth
If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait to call us. Acting fast may make all the difference when it comes to saving your tooth. When left untreated, the infection inside your tooth can progress to the point where extraction becomes necessary.
It's also important to note that emerging root infections may not cause pain. Instead, your dentist finds your infection during a preventive exam and provides treatment before pain sets in. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to visit your dentist regularly for checkups.
What Happens if You Don't Seek Treatment?
If you try to mask pain and discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers, you risk the root infection spreading to other teeth and tooth loss.
The tooth may also break or darken, detracting from your smile and leading to oral health complications, including the need for an urgent extraction.
What Happens if You Do Need an Extraction?
If your dentist recommends extracting a root-infected tooth, you may have mixed feelings. But if you’ve been suffering from an achy, sensitive tooth or gums, you may feel relieved.
Regardless, we understand that you will have plenty of questions and concerns about the procedure.
If you need an extraction, your dentist will take a thorough health history to ensure that you don’t have any underlying conditions that could affect your recovery.
At your dental extraction appointment, your dentist will numb the entire area using anesthesia. Once the extraction is complete, your dentist packs the extraction area with gauze to ease bleeding and may use self-dissolving stitches, if necessary. Keep ice on the area for 10-minute intervals to reduce swelling.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions following your dental extraction. In general, here’s what you can expect:
Avoid chewing the day after the procedure and eat only soft foods like yogurt, pudding, soup, shakes, and applesauce. Then slowly reintroduce solid foods.
Prop up your head with a pillow to reduce any bleeding.
Typically, mild discomfort and swelling abate within a day or two following tooth removal.
After recovery, talk to your dentist about tooth replacement options, including dental implants in Sedalia, MO. Replacing your extracted tooth is crucial to your long-term oral health.
The Root Canal Therapy Process
As with all procedures in our dental office, we want you to feel comfortable, and we will make sure the treatment area is numb, so you don’t feel a thing.
After the area is thoroughly anesthetized, Dr. Ehlers starts by making a tiny access into your tooth. He will then use our high-tech root canal equipment to gently remove the diseased tissue and bacteria from inside the root canals of your tooth.
Next, he places a healing medication that keeps the infection from reoccurring and also promotes proper healing. He will fill the canals of your tooth with a rubber-like material and seal the access point with a temporary filling.
Your body’s natural immune response will kick in and assist in the healing process. It typically takes only a few days to feel better. In the meantime, discomfort and swelling are minimal and easily eradicated with an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen.
After Root Canal Therapy in Sedalia, MO
Once treatment is complete, we give you time to heal properly – usually a couple of weeks. Then we have you return to the dental office to make sure there is no sign of infection.
At this point, if your tooth has healed properly, we recommend a permanent restoration to protect your tooth. In most cases, a dental crown will be necessary because teeth can become brittle after root canal treatment. Occasionally, if there is not much damage to the tooth, we may use a tooth-colored filling instead of a crown.
A dental crown is a customized cap that goes over your treated tooth. It looks and functions like your surrounding teeth, but it protects your treated tooth from further damage.
Why Go Through All This to Save One Tooth?
Sure, it probably seems easier to extract a tooth and save the hassle of these heroic efforts for one tooth. However, these steps look a lot more drawn out in writing than they are in real life. A root canal treatment is straightforward and goes much quicker than you might imagine.
But losing a tooth can mean a whole host of other dental issues to deal with, including:
- Shifting bite
- Periodontal disease
- A gap in your smile
- More expensive tooth-replacement options
- Bone loss
- Continued tooth loss
That is why we strive to protect and preserve your teeth! Ultimately, it is best for your oral health.
How to Lower Your Root Infection Risk
When it comes to lowering your risks for root infections, cavities, and gum disease, preventive dentistry is your best bet. Preventive dentistry includes two dental checkups and teeth cleanings each year.
With exams, your dentist can catch emerging problems before they present. Also, teeth cleanings eliminate the culprits that lead to decay and infection—plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
Along with regular dental visits, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice every day—and always following your final meal or snack before bed. You should also protect your teeth with a mouthguard during athletics and a nightguard if you have bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth).
Contact Your Dentist Near Me if You Have Tooth Pain in Sedalia, MO
If you have tooth pain in Sedalia, MO, give us a call! We can often treat dental emergencies on the same day, and we welcome new patients to our office.
We welcome patients from all areas, including Cole Camp, Green Ridge, Windsor, Ionia, Smithton, Tipton, Marshall, La Monte, and Otterville.