Stop Tooth Infection & Repair Your Smile
Your teeth aren’t just blocks of enamel that are anchored to your gums by the roots. Teeth are made of various layers, which in order, go as follows:
- Pulp chamber
- Root canals
The pulp chamber and the root canals house the dental pulp, which is a collection of nerves, connective tissues, and root systems. When this area is exposed by an opening in your tooth, bacteria can reach the pulp and cause an infection.
If a tooth infection isn’t treated promptly, it can gradually destroy your tooth and spread to other parts of your mouth. However, if a highly trained dentist like Dr. Hart recognizes the signs of an infection soon enough, she can save the tooth from extraction with root canal treatment.
What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, also called endodontics, involves cleaning out all the infected dental pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals of your tooth. While this may seem disconcerting, this process stops the infection right in its tracks, alleviating any pain, and saves your tooth from extraction.
By preserving your natural teeth, your dentist can also save you time, comfort, and money by avoiding more invasive treatments and drawn-out healing times. After removing these tissues, Dr. Hart will seal the tooth off with a filling and top it off with a crown or an alternative restoration. This will help prevent reinfection and further reinforce the tooth.
Signs of Severely Infected Teeth
It’s important to know when the inside of your tooth has been infected to determine if you require root canal treatment. If you’re unsure, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Severe toothache
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Tooth discoloration
- Swelling and tenderness in your gums
- Persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
- Dental trauma/decay such as holes, cracks, and chips in your teeth
- Damage to your gums or the bone surrounding the tooth
If you have any of these symptoms, call Sweet Hart Dental as soon as possible by dialing (954) 437-9288 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hart.
What To Expect From Root Canal Treatment
First, you’ll undergo a consultation with Dr. Hart to determine if root canal treatment can help. Information your dentist will gather during your consultation includes:
- Your smile goals
- Your medical history
- Your current level of oral health
- The severity of any infection
Your dentist can also offer you sedation if you think you’ll need help relaxing during your treatment. Once you and your dentist have both agreed on going forward with root canal treatment, we’ll schedule your second appointment.
During your second appointment, we’ll have you rinse your mouth out to create a clean surgical site. Then, we’ll place a rubber dam around the affected tooth to keep any debris or saliva out. To ensure you stay comfortable, we’ll apply a local anesthetic to the soft tissues around the affected tooth. Rest assured that we’ll make sure it’s working before your dentist proceeds.
To access the dental pulp, Dr. Hart will create a small opening in the tooth. Then, she’ll remove the dental pulp using special tools. Once the dental pulp has been completely removed and the inside of the tooth has been disinfected, your dentist will fill the tooth and add the restoration to restore its look and function.
Root Canal Retreatment
If every effort has been made to save your tooth, including root canal treatment, but your infection returns, your dentist may have to perform root canal retreatment. Root canal retreatment is a second treatment for your tooth that’s performed if root canal treatment has failed. A failed root canal may occur if the infection wasn’t completely cleaned out due to the canal of the tooth being complex.
If you need root canal retreatment, the procedure will be very similar to the first one. We’ll use comprehensive scans using CBCT technology to map your root structure prior to the procedure. That way, there will be no need for another round of retreatment.
During retreatment, your dentist will remove the crown and filling. Then, she’ll clean the pulp chamber and canals of any new or remaining infection, before replacing the restorations.
In some cases, root canal retreatment may not be enough to save the tooth, and tooth extraction may be your only option. If this is the case, Dr. Hart and our team will schedule a new treatment to safely and gently remove the infected tooth and replace it with a dental implant, partial denture, or bridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Root canal therapy has a terrible reputation for being extremely painful. However, at Sweet Hart Dental, they’re no more painful than your typical filling.
While the sensations might be uncomfortable, the pain is non-existent thanks to our local anesthetic. Additionally, not receiving treatment for your infection is far more painful than the actual treatment itself.
Typically, a tooth that’s been restored with root canal therapy should only experience some discomfort within the first few days following. This is normal and it can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications.
If your tooth still hurts a week later, there may be a complication and you should call our office at 954-437-9288 so our team can examine your tooth.
A hot tooth is a severely infected tooth that’s sensitive and doesn’t respond well to local anesthesia. Sometimes, a hot tooth is difficult to treat because of the pain.
Dr. Hart will always put your safety and comfort first and we’ll work with you to find a solution for your infected tooth. Though it isn’t known why some teeth become infected this way, we use advanced technology and unique strategies to care for them.
You can start to tell if a tooth is dead when it begins changing color. Generally, the tooth has been cut off from the blood supply, so it can start to turn brown, grey, or black.
You’ll most likely begin feeling severe pain where the tooth is, so if you notice these symptoms it’s important to contact our office at 954-437-9288 so we can save it.
Most root canal therapy procedures take approximately 90 minutes to complete. However, there are some cases where you may need more than one appointment to clear out the infection if it’s more severe or if you have a complicated root structure.
If you do need two appointments, our first priority is to relieve your pain. We’ll ensure the tooth is properly protected until your next appointment. At your second appointment, we’ll thoroughly clean the tooth, then place a more permanent, protective restoration.
The exact cost of your root canal treatment will vary based on factors such as how many teeth require treatment and your insurance. Dr. Hart recommends calling your provider beforehand and asking them which costs they can cover. The team at Sweet Hart Dental understands that dental work can feel costly at times, which is why we offer financing options to help patients afford treatment. This also includes new patient specials.
To protect your tooth after root canal treatment, your dentist recommends sticking to certain foods and drinks for at least one week post-op. You’ll need to avoid foods that are spicy, crunchy, brittle, chewy, and hard. Some foods that are usually safe to eat after a root canal include:
- Soft fruit
- Cooked vegetables
- Scrambled eggs
Additionally, one week after root canal treatment, you should stick to drinks that are:
- Room temperature
- Low on sugar
Looking To Save Your Tooth? Call Sweet Hart Dental Today!
The sooner an infection is caught, the better the chances of saving your tooth, so call Sweet Hart Dental’s Pembroke Pines location and schedule a consultation by dialing (954) 437-9288. You can also fill out one of our online contact forms and a friendly team member will get back to you soon.
At Sweet Hart Dental, accredited dentist Dr. Hart and the rest of our experienced team are excited and ready to help you maintain your oral health with root canal treatment. Dr. Hart is also proud to offer her ever-expanding expertise to patients from surrounding areas including Hollywood, Davie, and Miramar.