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Root Canal

The first step to diagnosing your tooth pain is to schedule a visit with Modern Family Dentists LLC. Dr. Aust will be able to identify to root of your pain, and what level of procedure is necessary to address it.


If Dr. Aust or another dentist tells you, “You need a root canal surgery” then you may be left wondering what that means and why it hurts so much. To highlight why it is important to schedule a visit as soon as you have tooth pain, a root canal infection is caused by a severe cavity, crack or other fissure in the tooth which becomes filled with bacteria and infected.


If a cavity is not caught early, or a crack is not fixed and becomes infected, or even if a tooth is filled incorrectly and bacteria is left behind the filling, slowly it eats its way past the enamel, then the dentin and into the pulp which fills the tooth. As the pulp decays from toxins released by the bacteria, the root, or nerve then becomes infected at the base of the tooth, creating a pocket of pus which can push on your gums and damaged nerve causing excruciating pain.


Not only is this painful, but it is imperative that it is taken care of immediately with the appropriate procedure or else the infection can spread and cause a lot of damage to your jaw and gums. During your appointment you may be put under or may be under the effects of nitrous to alleviate the pain of the procedure. You may be given pain medication and antibiotics as there will be some swelling and pain after.


During the procedure the decayed areas of the tooth are removed and flushed out, if decay has spread into the jaw, then other surgical practices may be applied to remove the decay. The nerve within the tooth is often dead and is removed so that the tooth itself will no longer feel pain. The canals are flushed with disinfecting solution so as to be sure no bacteria remain inside the tooth and no dead material remains.


A special type of filling called gutta-percha is used, gutta-percha is a thermoplastic which means it is heated slightly and pressed into the newly cleaned and prepped canal to seal it tightly. As it cools it hardens and creates a seal so no moisture or bacteria can enter the tooth. A regular filling tops the seal over the canal and sometimes a thin piece of metal is put in place to help the structure of the tooth. Once dry the ceramic filling is topped by a “crown” or a porcelain veneer made to look like the top of your tooth.


Now you know the process behind a root canal and what it means to need one. Taking excellent care of your teeth can and will prevent the need for a root canal in the long term. At the first sign of tooth pain or decay, schedule an appointment with dr. Aust for lasting care that targets the issues at hand.

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