Root Canals

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Root Canals by Antelope Creek Family Dentistry

Serving Lincoln, Lancaster County and Nebraska

The team at Antelope Creek Family Dentistry works hard to give patients superior dental results. When damage to teeth is very severe, our Lancaster County dentists may recommend a root canal to alleviate the issue and get your dental health back on track.

What is a Root Canal?

A Root canal is form of (endodontic) dental treatment designed to address problems that arise in the soft pulp, or nerve tissue within a tooth. Pulp tissue consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve cells. When an infection or inflammation occurs there it can be very painful. In order to alleviate this pain and problem, a root canal is necessary; otherwise the problem will only worsen and could eventually cause dental abscess and systemic problems in other parts of the body. 

Do not worry, though. This restorative dentistry treatment is not much different to having a cavity filled. Don’t let the common misconception fool you. Root Canals cause minimum discomfort. 

What Causes Pulp Tissue Damage? 

Untreated dental cavities allow bacteria to work their way to the center of the tooth, where they infect pulp tissue. Bacteria can also come into contact with pulp tissue through chipped or cracked teeth, or any openings in a tooth’s protective enamel coating. Additionally, trauma to teeth (like that which may occur in sports injuries or traffic accidents) can cause pulp tissue damage. 

Having multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth increases the chances of this type of injury. And certain procedures like dental crown preparation or extensive orthodontics may eventually lead to root canal problems as well. 

Signs & Symptoms of a Problem

Constant, severe pain and pressure in the mouth along with swelling and gum sensitivity indicate a need for immediate dental treatment. If you feel a sharp pain when biting down while eating, this is another sign of pulp tissue damage. And if you sense a lingering pain when consuming hot or foods or drinks it can also be an indicator of a dental problem that requires immediate action.

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment with your local Lincoln family dentist as soon as possible.

Little Pain & Relief to Gain

There is a false perception regarding root canals, the media tending to portray them in negative light. However, the truth is that root canals eliminate way more pain than they cause. As mentioned, root canals can be compared comfort-wise to the experience of getting a common dental filling. And the completion of this treatment will relieve the much more critical pain you feel in your teeth due to infection or inflammation.

Furthermore, a natural tooth that's saved via a root canal treatment can help you avoid problems that occur when a tooth must be removed, such as:

  • Unwanted tooth shifting, which can lead to difficulties chewing
  • The need for bridgework or dental implants, which can be costly and complicated
  • And the eventual loss of bone structure in the area of the missing tooth

The Treatment Process

The root canal process begins by numbing the tooth, just like with a dental filling. In most cases this is the most uncomfortable part of the treatment, and it is over quickly.

The next step is to make a small opening in the damaged tooth. Using tiny instruments, your Lincoln family dentist will remove dead and dying pulp tissue then clean, disinfect, and prepare the chamber and canals of your tooth for an inert, biocompatible filling. This opening is then sealed with adhesive cement. Your dentist may also recommend a dental crown or other restoration solution to further protect the damaged tooth.

It is common for the tooth to feel sensitive and tender for a few days after your root canal procedure. So it is a good idea to avoid biting down hard on the treated tooth. Most post-treatment discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen. 

We’re Here to Help

When you’re battling severe tooth pain, a root canal can be an easy solution to end your discomfort by eliminating the decay that’s causing it. It’s an extremely common procedure that the professionals of Antelope Creek Family Dentistry are happy to talk to you about in more detail. If you would like to further your understanding of root canals, dental fillings, or the other restorative, traditional, or cosmetic dentistry services we provide, contact our team today. We look forward to helping strengthen your smile!