A root canal is a way to preserve your natural tooth if it becomes infected or irreversibly sensitive. It is an alternative to extracting (removing) the tooth so that you can continue to function with your natural teeth. The process involves accessing, cleaning, and then sealing the internal canals that run the length of the roots. After successful root canal treatment, the tooth can function pain and infection free.
Removing a tooth and leaving a space can lead to shifting of the other teeth. It can also become a slippery slope because every time you remove a tooth, it will put additional stress on the other teeth. In order to preserve the integrity of the bite in functional harmony, it's best to save and preserve what is naturally in the mouth through root canal treatment when necessary. Root Canal Treatment is an effective way (over 95% success rate!) to keep a tooth in the mouth that would otherwise need to be removed.
Root canals gained a bad reputation due to ineffective and painful methods used in the past. Comedians, pop-culture, and the Internet have all propagated this stereotype. However, with the advent and improvement of local anesthetics and technology over the years, root canals have become a pain free procedure. You heard right! Root Canal Treatment can and should be a PAIN-FREE experience. Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not only pain free procedures, but also relieve pre-existing pain in the vast majority of cases.
As a dentist, root canal treatment is a great opportunity to not only relieve a patient's pain but also prove that it can be done pain-free. It is very rewarding to have a patient turn to us afterward and say "I don't know why I was so worried... that didn't hurt at all!"
A routine root canal procedure can be finished in as little as one visit of just over an hour. In some cases, if we are unable to completely clean the root canal system, we have to wait to seal the tooth at a separate visit. We want to ensure that our root canals are successful and if there are signs of infection, we do not want to seal those in and potentially lead to failure of the root canal.
As long as an RCT tooth is adequately supported with a dental crown, it should last just as long as any other tooth in the mouth. Posterior (back) molars and premolars are especially susceptible to fracture after having root canal treatment if left unsupported. This is because these teeth generally have more canals than anterior (front) teeth. Dental Crowns are advised to support these teeth after root canal treatment and promote long term success. In some scenarios, RCT can be completed on a front tooth and a simple filling can be placed in the tooth.
Root canal treated teeth have an average survival rate of 95%. This is based on a 5-year survival rate and is dependent on prompt full coverage restoration (in most cases a dental crown).
Contact Gentling Dental Care today for questions on root canals in Rochester, MN or to make an appointment.
Normally, our team's goal is to repair any teeth that have developed damage or decay, but in certain situations, an extraction might be the only viable treatment. This is usually a last resort after we have exhausted all other options, but when one is necessary, we do everything we can to make sure a patient feels comfortable the entire time. Should you or your child ever require a tooth extraction, you can trust it will be nothing to stress about. If necessary, we can help replace the tooth right away as well.
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- Extensive Decay: If a cavity is too large to be repaired with a crown or filling, then we will choose to simply remove the tooth.
- Excessive Damage: Most dental restorations require at least a small part of a tooth to be intact, but if a tooth is so damaged that there is nothing to put back together, we'll extract it.
- Obstructed Adult Teeth: It's possible for a baby tooth to linger in the mouth and block the path of an incoming adult tooth. We can remove it to make sure the permanent tooth comes in properly.
- More Room: We may remove a few teeth in order to create more room in the mouth so a denture will fit better.
Fortunately, removing a tooth doesn't actually involve any pulling . Instead, after thoroughly numbing a patient with a local anesthetic, we simply grip the tooth with a pair of dental forceps, and then we gently rock it back and forth until it slips out on its own. Using this approach, most patients don't even realize it when their tooth actually comes out!
A little soreness and swelling near the treatment site is normal, but this should go away after a few days. We'll instruct a patient to take the day of their extraction easy and avoid things like drinking with a straw, rinsing their mouth, or spitting for the first 24 hours, as this could interfere in the formation of a much needed blood clot. A patient should be able to resume their normal diet and activities in about a week or so.
What makes the wisdom teeth so wise? They actually get their name from the fact that they typically start to come in around the late teens or early twenties, signaling the end of someone's childhood years. However, they are also the most often extracted teeth. Why? If you have a teenager at home or think you might be experiencing pain because of your wisdom teeth, you'll find the answers to these questions and more below.
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The wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars. For our caveman ancestors, they came in quite handy due to their rough diet, which mostly consisted of roots and tough meats. Over time, cooking methods improved, food became easier to eat, and the human jaw slowly shrank as time went on. Eventually, it got to the point where most people simply don't have enough room in their mouth for these teeth, which is why they are so often removed.
When the wisdom teeth start to come in, the usually bring a lot of discomfort with them. They tend to put a lot of pressure on the other teeth, which can cause them to shift, and they often become stuck (or impacted) as well. This can lead to pain in the jaw, and they can sometimes develop an infection as well. Ideally, we'll be able to keep an eye on a patient's wisdom teeth so we can remove them before they cause any of these issues.
Most of the time, the wisdom teeth need to be removed before they have fully erupted into the mouth, which calls for a procedure known as a surgical extraction. For this, after thoroughly numbing a patient, we'll remove any gum or bone tissue that is still encasing the wisdom teeth so we can reach and remove them. Most patients feel next to nothing during this procedure, and while their mouth may be a little sore afterward, the recovery time is usually less than a week.