Tooth decay, cracks in the enamel, and gum disease can affect much more than your smile’s exterior over time – these issues may also expose the vulnerable inner workings of a tooth to dangerous bacteria, leading to a painful infection. This is where root canal therapy comes in! Despite its “bad” reputation, root canal therapy is actually a very common procedure that’s performed millions of times each year, and it has a significantly high success rate to match it. Over 90% of root canal treated teeth are able to successfully avoid extraction and remain a stable, healthy part of patients’ smiles for years to come.
While many general dentists are capable of performing root canal therapy, endodontists, like Dr. Gell and Dr. Watts, are specifically trained in this precise type of service. They have undergone multiple years of advanced training and are happy to offer not only tremendous flexibility for accommodating emergencies but knowledgeable support that can address even the most complex treatment circumstances. Simply put, you are in the best of hands here at Afton Endodontics. Please contact us today if you are interested in scheduling an appointment here in Concord, NC.
Root canal therapy will become necessary if the tooth’s inner “pulp” layer becomes infected or inflamed. If you experience any of the following symptoms, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for further guidance and support:
It is important to remember that in some cases, advanced oral infections will exhibit NO symptoms that are noticeable to an untrained eye.
After our dentists have thoroughly inspected the tooth with the help of digital radiographs (x-rays) and determined the best approach for the impending root canal, the area will be appropriately numbed. Then, a small opening is created in the crown of the tooth and the diseased pulp and bacteria from within the root canal(s) is eliminated. Once we’ve thoroughly cleaned the space and filled it with a biocompatible substitute, the structure is sealed to reduce the chances of further infection.
As a final touch, we will strongly recommend that patients return to their general dentist to have a custom-made dental crown or similar restoration placed over the treated tooth. This will protect the structure and help it regain its full function and aesthetic value.
Traditionally, root canal therapy has required several steps and a number of different specialty instruments to perform successfully – but this isn’t the case any longer. Afton Endodontics has chosen to invest in state-of-the-art technology that completely changes the game for patients in need of treatment: GentleWave.
GentleWave technology administers a strong vortex of treatment fluids and safe acoustic energy to the canal(s), clearing out stray tissue, harmful debris, and bacteria more thoroughly than ever before – even in tiny spaces throughout the structure that traditional treatment approaches could never hope to reach. As a result, root canal therapy is much more successful and the potential need for retreatment is minimized.
Did you know that endodontic treatment can be just as important for baby teeth as it is for adult teeth? Decay or injury can threaten these teeth and lead to serious consequences if it is not properly addressed. Root canal therapy can prevent such issues and encourage normal dental and speech development. At Afton Endodontics, we welcome young patients and strive to make them comfortable as we carry out their procedure with gentleness and kindness.
Many people have the wrong idea about the root canal procedure, thinking it to be more frightening than it actually is. We encourage our patients to learn all they can about root canal therapy ahead of their appointments so that they can feel confident about what to expect before they walk into our office. We’ve collected the answers to some of the most commonly asked root canal questions on this page, but of course we’re happy to answer any other concerns you might have if you get in touch with us.
You might have heard that root canal therapy is an unusually painful dental procedure. This is actually not true at all! In fact, many patients have said that it is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. This is largely due to how much endodontics has evolved over the years. The treatment area will be numbed at the very beginning of the procedure so that you won’t experience any pain during the treatment itself. (It is typical to feel discomfort after the procedure is done and the medication has worn off, however.) Our GentleWave technology also helps make root canal therapy a much more pleasant experience.
Your tooth might feel sensitive for a few days after the procedure. We recommend taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or another type of over-the-counter pain medication if you feel like you need it. You’ll need to plan on relaxing for the rest of the day. You can return to your normal daily activities after at least a day has passed. If you haven’t received your crown yet, you should avoid chewing with the affected tooth. In fact, it’s generally advisable to stick with softer foods that don’t require vigorous chewing for at least a few days. You can continue to brush and floss as you would normally.
Root canal therapy has a very high success rate, but there is always the possibility of complications afterwards. A new infection might occur if there is a crack that goes undetected or if one of the root canals in the tooth is not cleaned as thoroughly as possible. If a complication emerges, we can perform a retreatment to try and save the tooth. Be sure to let us know as soon as possible if you notice any signs of a new infection, such as swollen gums.
A root canal can save your tooth, but obviously it would be better for it to never be at risk in the first place. Protect your teeth from decay and infection by brushing and flossing regularly; be sure to pay close attention to all the hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. Consider your diet and try to cut down on the amount of sugar or acidic beverages you consume. Schedule at least two professional cleanings and exams every year so that smaller problems can be identified and treated quickly.