Root Canal Therapy in Bridgeton, MO
It’s no secret that dental patients dread root canals. This valuable service has an undeserved reputation for being a painful and complex procedure. The truth is that patients who have had root canals performed actually describe the process as no more uncomfortable or difficult than a filling. In fact, if you are experiencing dental pain as the result of a severely damaged or decayed tooth, a root canal will actually relieve that pain and help you feel better fast, and it's a very common dental procedure.
At our office, we value and respect your health, time, and comfort. We use a rotary endodontic system that allows us to be much more efficient during root canal appointments, which equals less time in the chair for you. As much as we like our patients, we know that spending less time in the dentist’s chair is a good thing!
What Is a Root Canal?
A lot of the fear of root canals probably comes from not knowing what the procedure actually is and what it is used for. Additionally, the “painful root canal” rumor got started years ago before we had the anesthesia and technology options that we have today and has simply persisted.
While the procedure is often referred to as a “root canal,” the root canal itself is actually part of your tooth’s anatomy. It’s a natural space in the center of your tooth that houses the pulp chamber and your tooth’s nerve. When this space becomes damaged, which can happen because of decay, trauma, or an infection, the nerve reacts and sends painful signals to your brain to let you know that something is wrong.
During a root canal, we access the interior of your tooth using specialized instruments and then remove the dead or damaged nerve to relieve your pain. We then clean the inside of your tooth to remove any bacteria or damaged tooth material. Once the interior of your tooth is cleaned out, we may place a local antibiotic to destroy any lingering infection, and then we fill the space using composite resin filling. If needed, we may place a crown over the tooth to protect and support it.
Root canals allow us to preserve a tooth that might otherwise have to be removed, saving you the discomfort of extraction and the expense of tooth replacement. The procedure has a high success rate, and once treated, your tooth will be restored to full functionality.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
If you are experiencing pain in your tooth, call us right away. We’ll get you in as quickly as we can to assess the problem and determine the most appropriate treatment. The pain associated with a damaged root canal is often described as throbbing, and it usually increases with the pressure of chewing or with hot and cold food and drinks.
Other signs that may indicate the need for a root canal include swelling in the gum or cheek and a lesion on your gum that resembles a pimple. If you spot a lesion like this, it means that you have an infection and need treatment quickly.
It is possible to experience no pain and still need a root canal. This is sometimes the case when an injury has damaged the tooth and killed the nerve. Because this situation sets the stage for infection, a root canal is needed to remove the dead nerve and repair the tooth.
Call our office today if you are in pain or have experienced an injury to your tooth. Bridgeton dentist Dr. Kevin Burgdorf is skilled in root canal therapy and will help you relieve your pain and save your tooth.