Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is typically the most effective way to save infected teeth. Infection occurs when decay goes untreated. Unchecked, the bacteria will eventually spread to the soft pulp in the center of a tooth, as well as the root canals. Root canal therapy may also be appropriate for cracked teeth.
If desired, Dr. Tunney can perform root canal therapy in-house, making your treatment more convenient and efficient.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may need root canal therapy:
- A Persistent toothache, especially one located deep within a tooth
- Sensitivity to temperature changes
- Swelling or sores on the gums near one tooth
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Internal discoloration of one tooth
- A loose tooth
Sometimes, infected teeth do not cause any symptoms.
The Root Canal Procedure
Prior to treatment, Dr. Tunney will administer local anesthesia. Then he will create a small access hole in your tooth. Through this space, he can remove infected pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. He will also clean out your root canals, which run beneath your tooth and house the roots themselves. He will then fill the canals with a soft compound called gutta percha. Then he will place a temporary filling.
A few weeks later, you will return to the office, and Dr. Tunney will place a dental crown. Made of porcelain, your restoration will match the shape and color of your teeth.
Is a root canal painful?
If you have been told you need a root canal, you may feel extremely nervous. But root canals have an unmerited reputation for being extremely unpleasant. In reality, root canals involve minimal discomfort, thanks to local anesthesia and Dr. Tunney’s expertise. Most people only feel slight pressure during treatment.
Cracked Teeth Treatment
Root canal therapy is a common option to treat cracked teeth. But, ultimately, the treatment will depend on the extent and location of the crack.
- Craze lines: These tiny fractures on the surface of teeth do not affect the pulp and are only a cosmetic concern. However, if you want to improve the look of craze lines, Dr. Tunney offers several treatment options, including porcelain veneers.
- Cracked tooth: In a cracked tooth, the crack runs through the crown of your tooth and into the soft inner pulp. It does not, however, affect your tooth root. In these cases, root canal therapy is likely.
- Split tooth: If a crack reaches the root, your tooth most likely cannot be saved, and extraction is probably necessary.
- Vertical root fracture: With a vertical root fracture, the crack starts at the bottom of your root and runs upward toward the dental crown. Tooth removal is the most common treatment for this type of crack.
Fortunately, if you do require extraction, Dr. Tunney offers realistic dental restorations, including fixed porcelain bridges. And, as with root canal therapy, treatment involves negligible discomfort.
Contact Us to Save Your Tooth
Though root canal therapy may sound intimidating, this important treatment can save your tooth and prevent further damage. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a dental infection or a cracked tooth, contact New Street Dental today.
You can reach our Bethlehem, PA, office online or call us at 610-867-7112.