Root Canal Therapy: A Conservative Alternative to Extraction
A severe toothache is commonly due to deep dental decay. As bacteria inside the tooth increases, pressure builds, and the nerve sends pain signals to the brain. Root canal therapy is often the only option to treat decay in the inner chambers of the tooth. The procedure can clear up infection and maintain the health of your entire mouth. For patients in need of root canal therapy, Dr. Gilbert Palmieri can perform the procedure at our Lancaster practice. Contact us today to learn more about our root canal treatment and how it can restore the health of your smile.
What Causes Extensive Decay?
Our teeth are coated with the most durable substance in our bodies: dental enamel. Although it is very strong, enamel can break down as acids in the mouth temporarily soften it. With the enamel in a weakened state, bacteria can invade the tooth and cause decay. Bacteria may also enter a tooth if it becomes fractured. Left untreated, decay and infection can spread deep into a tooth, extending beyond the enamel and dentin layers to penetrate the inner cavity and roots.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
To avoid extracting an infected tooth, Dr. Palmieri can remove the diseased tissue and thoroughly clean inside its roots. This procedure, known as root canal therapy, involves creating a small entry point in the tooth, extracting affected tissue, and disinfecting the inner tooth chamber. Gutta percha, a rubber-like substance, is then used to fill the tooth chamber. Next, the access hole is closed and the tooth is gently reshaped to accommodate a dental crown. Therapy is complete when the crown is placed over the tooth, providing strength and protection.
What Are the Advantages of Root Canal Therapy?
Similar to any dental treatment, Dr. Palmieri will only recommend root canal therapy when it is absolutely necessary. Taking a conservative approach to patient care, he does all he can to preserve healthy tooth structure. If the decayed tissue extends into the pulp chamber or roots, there is often no other option to successfully stop the spread of infection except with root canal therapy. Without treatment, the infection will continue to ravage the tooth, cause pain and discomfort, and compromise your oral and overall health.
Does Root Canal Treatment Hurt?
With all the advancements in dentistry in recent years, many people are surprised to find that their root canal therapy is not much different than the sensations associated with a routine filling. For patients who have a great deal of anxiety when they visit the dentist, Dr. Palmieri and his staff can provide you with sedation therapy to help you relax. During your root canal procedure, Dr. Palmieri can provide nitrous oxide or an oral sedative to make you comfortable and allow you to receive the treatment you need.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you have a severe toothache or have been told that you need root canal therapy, schedule a consultation with Dr. Palmieri today. He will administer a comprehensive examination, review x-rays, and discuss treatment recommendations with you.