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Posts for tag: Root Canal

Sports and Dental Injuries

If you regularly participate in sports or other physical activity, you’re at a higher risk for dental injuries. While chipped teeth are the most common result of these injuries, a few may result in more serious trauma — dislodged, cracked or knocked out teeth. In these cases, the core of the tooth — the pulp — and the root may have been damaged. Saving the tooth may require endodontic treatment and possibly the expertise of a specialist in the field, an endodontist.

Endodontics, from the Greek words for “within” and “tooth,” is a specialty of dentistry that treats disease or damage affecting the inner parts of a tooth, particularly the pulp chamber, the root canals, and the root. While all dentists are trained in endodontic procedures, an endodontist has advanced training, experience and specialized equipment to address complex cases.

The type of endodontic treatment needed for an injured tooth will depend on the extent of damage. A mature, permanent tooth with pulp damage, for example, may require a root canal treatment. In this procedure the pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned out, and then are filled with a special filling to prevent any future infection. Later the tooth should be crowned to permanently seal it. Although a general dentist may perform a root canal, more complex cases, such as a tooth with an extensive root canal network, may need to be performed by an endodontist using microscopic equipment.

A tooth that has undergone severe trauma, especially a knocked out tooth, will need extensive follow-up care by a general dentist and possibly an endodontist to improve its chances of long-term survival. Because of the severity, the tooth may lose viability and the body ultimately may begin to reject it. For this reason, the tooth should be monitored on a regular basis and may need further treatment from time to time, even up to five years after the injury.

One final word: if you participate in sports or exercise activity, you can significantly reduce your risk of dental injury with a mouthguard. There are various types, but the best protection is one custom designed to fit the specific contours of your mouth. We’ll be glad to advise you further on how to protect your teeth from injury.

If you would like more information on dental injury prevention and treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth.”

Woman Touching Cheek Due to Toothache

Do you know the signs that may indicate that you need a root canal? Our Phoenix, AZ, dentists, Dr. Linda Beguin and Dr. Gary Steen of CenterCare Dental Group, can help you determine if you have an at-risk tooth.

Pain when eating

Chewing, or even pressing on your tooth with your finger, can cause pain if you need a root canal. You may also experience sensitivity when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages. Pain can continue for as long as 30 minutes after you finish eating or drinking. Pain and other root canal symptoms occur when the pulp in the center of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. Root canals remove the pulp and replace it with a rubber-based filling material.

Varying levels of pain

Everyone has a different pain threshold and doesn’t necessarily experience the same symptoms. Your pain may be mild or might be severe and throbbing. In the early stages of an inflammation or infection, pain may even be intermittent. It’s not a good idea to ignore tooth pain, even if it comes and goes. Treating your tooth with a root canal when you first notice that something isn’t quite right can help you avoid an abscess, a painful bacterial infection in your tooth.

Abscess symptoms

If you do develop an abscess, you’ll probably experience a few of these symptoms:

  • Pus or a pimple on the gum around the tooth
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Facial swelling

Although a root canal will get rid of the infected pulp at the center of your tooth, it won’t treat your bacterial infection. You’ll also need to take a course of antibiotics. Delaying treatment may allow the bacteria to spread to other parts of your body. In some cases, it may even reach your brain or heart.

Other symptoms

An inflammation or infection in your tooth can cause your tooth to change color. If your tooth looks brown, gray or even yellower than normal, call our Phoenix office to schedule an appointment. Swelling or redness of your gums may be another sign that you may need a root canal.

Root canals help save inflamed and infected teeth. Are you worried about a tooth? Call Phoenix, AZ, dentists, Dr. Beguin and Dr. Steen of CenterCare Dental Group, at (602) 671-3956 to schedule an appointment.

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