Two words: root canal. These words often come with a chill, followed by jaw clenching, and phantom tooth pain. While the procedure has gained a bad rap among the general population, root canal treatments have significantly improved through the years with advancement in technology. In an attempt to bring awareness to Root Canal Week, March 27 - April 2, we hope to answer your endless endodontic questions on root canals.
When is a root canal needed?
If your Ooltewah dentist or endodontic specialist recommends root canal treatment, you may have inflammation, infection, or an abscess, resulting from deep decay, a cracked or chipped tooth, or injury. Root canal treatments are needed to save a tooth after the soft tissue inside the root canal, known as the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected.
What are the symptoms for necessary endodontic treatment?
Symptoms include: tooth pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, chewing, and temperatures (hot or cold), tooth discoloration, inflammation and swelling, and excessive drainage of lymph nodes. In some cases, the listed effects may or may not be visible; sometimes, there are no symptoms at all. Consult your Ooltewah dentist for further examination if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms.
What steps are involved in the procedure?
Step 1.Following an examination and x-rays, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the inflamed or infected tooth. Next, a small “dental dam” is placed over the tooth area to keep it clean during the procedure.
Step 2. A small opening is made in the crown of the tooth. Using minimally invasive instruments, the pulp from the chamber is cleaned which makes room in the canal for filling.
Step 3. Once cleaned, the root canal is then filled with a rubbery, thermoplastic material called gutta-percha, which is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure a proper seal of the root canals. A temporary filling is often placed to close the opening, and later removed by your dentist.
Step 4. On your final visit, a crown is placed on top of the tooth, which is used to restore to original function.
Ask your Ooltewah dentist at Tedford Family Dentistry for more details about the specific restoration process, and how root canal treatments can keep your smile beautiful and bright!
From the cold unusual objects to unfamiliar surroundings, children and adults alike share fears of the dentist. No matter the fears, visits to the dentist will keep teeth healthy and promote good oral health habits. Here are a few tips to keeping the fears at bay and their smile pearly white.
The Earlier the Better
The younger a child is when they start visiting a dentist, the more likely they will become comfortable with the surroundings and the dentist. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first trip to the dentist should be at age one or when their first tooth is visible. Early prevention will increase the overall health of your mouth.
According to several studies, more preschool students have cavities than ever before. The national study states that, “more than 1 in 4 children in the United states has had at least one cavity by the age of 4. Many kids get cavities as early as age 2.”
Don’t Over Share
Try not to share too many details before dental appointments. Too much explaining can result in more questions as well is scare many children. Keep a positive attitude and let the dentist and hygienists explain the procedures. Also, refrain from taking your children to your dentist appointment. Even though you may not realize it, you may be anxious. Telling about past or current procedures can instill more fear, especially if those procedures are not necessary.
Grab a toothbrush and let your child practice being both the dentist and the patient. Brushing and counting teeth will help to prepare them for the actual office visit. You want your child to become familiar with the routine in hopes that they will be more comfortable with the procedures. Additionally, there are a variety of children’s books with illustrations that are design to educate and relieve fears of the dentist.
Fussing is Normal
Pediatric dentists are used to children and tantrums. It is normal that a child will cry, whine or fuss during an appointment. Allow the staff to guide and direct you. Many will ask that you hold your child’s hand to help comfort them during the visit. If your little one has a favorite toy or stuffed animal, bring that as a comfort and distraction.
Encouraging the importance of good dental health is important. Explain that the dentist helps to keep their smile pretty, and that regular visits are necessary. Follow these tips are your child is sure to overcome their fears.
Our Ooltewah pediatric denistry office can help calm your child's fears of the dentist as well as keep their teeth pearly white.Written by Tiffany Hutton