Root Canal Therapy in East Longmeadow, MA
Each year, dentists perform 15 million root canals in the United States. Root canal therapy can preserve a damaged tooth and prevent serious oral health issues that might stem from an untreated infection.
If you have pain or inflammation and suspect a tooth infection, schedule a free root canal therapy consultation with Gregory Zirakian, DMD, at East Longmeadow Family Dental Center.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a procedure that aims to eliminate bacteria from the canals inside a tooth, saving the natural tooth and preventing further reinfection. During this procedure, Dr. Zirakian removes the tooth’s inflamed pulp and then cleans and disinfects the surfaces inside the tooth.
This procedure can relieve pain caused by an abscessed or infected tooth. The most common symptoms of an infection that requires root canal therapy are:
- Persistent tooth pain
- Swollen gums
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- Pimple on the gums
- Tooth discoloration
- Swollen gums
- Loose tooth
Root canal therapy is necessary when bacteria affect the pulp inside your tooth. This often happens when a cavity is left untreated for a long time.
Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy can help you avoid tooth extraction. A tooth extraction can lead to changes in the way the rest of your teeth are structured because they rely on one another to stay in place.
Losing a tooth can even affect your jawbone, leading to bone loss because you no longer have a tooth’s root to stimulate bone growth.
Getting a root canal can also prevent the spread of infection because bacteria that infect the tooth’s pulp can easily spread to other teeth, as well as to the gums. A root canal eliminates the damaged pulp, removing the bacteria.
Root canal therapy is also a quick process, allowing you to get relief from discomfort in just one appointment. It is also generally more affordable than dental implants or a dental bridge. And if you opt to extract the tooth and then replace it with dental implants or a dental bridge, you can expect to wait weeks to get the final results.
Finally, root canal therapy can help you retain your natural smile. The goal of a root canal is to save your tooth, not replace it.
Getting Root Canal Therapy
If you have symptoms of a tooth infection, turn to Dr. Zirakian for a free consultation. During this consultation, he will examine your teeth and take X-rays to find the problem and determine the best treatment option. He will need to know about your medical history, any medications you take, and your oral hygiene routine.
If you are a good candidate for the procedure, Dr. Zirakian will speak to you about the costs of the root canal, as well as about the kind of anesthesia you will receive. If you have dental anxiety, you can also ask about sedation dentistry. We can provide nitrous oxide or intravenous sedation.
Most dental insurance plans cover at least some of the costs of root canals. If you don’t have dental insurance, we still want you to get the treatment you need. Ask us about in-house financing and other options that can help you cover costs.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Zirakian will numb the affected tooth and the surrounding gum with local anesthesia. Once you are comfortable, he will place a small rubber dam to isolate the tooth and keep it dry throughout the procedure.
The next step is to make a small hole at the top of the tooth, which gives Dr. Zirakian access to the pulp. He will remove the infected pulp before cleaning and shaping the pulp chamber and the root canals.
Dr. Zirakian will fill in the empty canals with a dental material called gutta-percha. A filling helps seal the tooth and prevents bacteria from reentering.
Most people require a dental crown to protect the tooth after root canal therapy. Dental crowns can be made of various materials, including metal and porcelain. A lab will custom-make the crown for you. While you wait for the lab to deliver the crown, you will receive a temporary one.
You are free to go home right after a root canal, but make sure to have someone drive you if you receive sedation.
Recovery and Maintenance
Recovering from a root canal usually takes less than a week. You want to stick with softer foods, like pasta and yogurts, for the first few days. As your comfort level improves, you can introduce other types of food. Make sure to avoid chewing on the side with the treated tooth for a little while.
You can take over-the-counter painkillers to relieve discomfort and use cold compresses over the affected tooth.
It is crucial to also take care of the crown. Brush your teeth and floss as you normally would, making sure to remove food particles between the crown and the tooth.
A crown can crack or chip if you expose it to a lot of pressure, so avoid chewing on ice, biting your nails, or chewing on pens. If you grind your teeth when you sleep, ask Dr. Zirakian about wearing a mouth guard. Grinding your teeth can put a lot of pressure on the crowns.
You also want to avoid very sticky foods. They can dislodge the crowns and make it easier for food particles to slip under them.
Get Help for Infected Teeth
Tooth pain, gum swelling, and tooth discoloration can all be signs that you have an oral infection that needs treatment. Treating an infected tooth with a root canal can prevent further issues while avoiding tooth extraction. Root canal therapy is a fast procedure that does not require a long recovery time.
At East Longmeadow Family Dental Center, Dr. Zirakian offers compassionate treatment you can rely on. With nearly 40 years of experience and access to the best technologies in the field, he is ready to help you, just as he has helped countless other patients.
Don’t go through another day with tooth pain. Turn to Dr. Zirakian at East Longmeadow Family Dental Center in East Longmeadow, MA, to schedule a free consultation.