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Posts for tag: root canal

By George Mui, DDS, Ltd. Gentle Dental Care
February 21, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  
DontFeartheRootCanal-itCouldSaveYourTooth

Many people consider a root canal treatment to be potentially an unpleasant experience. You might even feel a few butterflies fluttering in your stomach if we were to recommend one for you.

But there’s nothing actually to dread about this common and very effective treatment. The procedure doesn’t cause pain; in fact, it most likely relieves tooth pain. What’s more, it could save a tooth that would be otherwise lost.

The name comes from narrow passageways extending from the tip of the root to the innermost tooth pulp. The pulp contains nerves and other structures once vital to early tooth development. And although they’re not as important in a fully mature tooth, those nerves still function. In other words, they can still feel stimulation or pain.

That shouldn’t be a problem with a healthy tooth. But if tooth decay invades the inner pulp, those nerves now under attack will begin firing. You’ll know something’s wrong. As bad as it feels, though, the toothache isn’t your worst problem: if the decay isn’t stopped, it can spread through the root canals to the bone that could eventually lead to losing the tooth.

A root canal treatment removes the decayed pulp tissue and protects the tooth from re-infection. We first deaden the tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anesthesia and set up a rubber dam around the tooth to protect it from contamination from the surrounding environment. We then drill a small access hole through the enamel and dentin to reach the pulp chamber and root canals.

Using special instruments, we remove all the diseased tissue from the pulp and flush out the empty chamber and root canals with antibacterial solutions. After re-shaping the root canals, we fill them and the pulp chamber with gutta-percha, a rubber-like biocompatible material that conforms well to the root canal walls. We seal the gutta-percha with adhesive cement and then fill the access hole. Later, we’ll give the tooth further protection with a custom crown.

After the procedure, you may experience short-term minor discomfort usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. The good news, though, is that the excruciating nerve pain from within the tooth will be gone—and your tooth will have a new lease on life.

If you would like more information on saving a problem tooth with root canal 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 “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”

By George Mui, DDS, Ltd. Gentle Dental Care
January 14, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Do you require root canal therapy in Mount Prospect, IL?

If you are dealing with dental pain, you may be surprised one day to discover that it has gone away. However, don’t be thrown into a false sense of security. A very common reason for dental pain is due to an inflamed or infected dental pulp, which is jam-packed with nerves. As the pulp dies, this is when the pain goes away. Despite it appearing as if the problem has left, the infection is still present and can spread into neighboring teeth and the jawbone if you don’t turn to our Mount Prospect, IL, dentist Dr. George Mui for treatment. Read below to learn how a root canal can solve the problem without the presence of pain or discomfort!

 

What is root canal treatment?

Just as we mentioned above, this endodontic procedure is performed when the dental pulp, or structure within the tooth, is infected or inflamed. This most often occurs as a result of decay or infection penetrating through the outer layers of the tooth. Once this happens, the only option is to have our Mount Prospect general dentist remove the infected pulp in order to save the tooth.

 

Are there other signs that I might need a root canal?

The most common symptom associated with a root canal is a toothache, which may either come and go or remain persistent. Everyone will experience different symptoms related to the toothache, however, it’s important to never ignore it, as this is a sign that something is wrong. Remember, a toothache is often just a symptom of a larger problem that requires medical attention.

Along with a toothache you may find that the tooth has lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. If the damage is extensive or severe the tooth may appear discolored or darker than usual. The gums surrounding the tooth may also be inflamed and sore. An abscess may even form on the gums near the infected tooth. At the first sign of any changes or dental issues, it’s important to see your dentist.

 

Concerned? Give Us a Call!

Here at our Mount Prospect office, our dental team prides itself on providing the very best in dental care to patients of all ages. No matter whether you need to schedule a routine checkup or need to have us diagnose your toothache, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call (847) 253-5901 to schedule your next visit with us!

By George Mui, DDS, Ltd. Gentle Dental Care
August 28, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   tooth pain  

ToothacheHave you been ignoring painful twinges in your teeth? Root canal therapy may offer relief of your tooth pain. The therapy is just one of the services that dentist Dr. George Mui offers in his Mt. Prospect, IL, office.

How can a root canal help me?

Root canals are recommended if you have a painful inflammation or infection in your tooth pulp. The pulp, a soft mass of tissue, blood vessels and nerves, played an important role in the formation of your tooth but isn't quite so vital now. In fact, your tooth can function normally when the pulp is removed during a root canal. Root canals end your pain and also save your tooth. If you have an inflammation or infection and don't have a root canal, you will eventually lose your tooth.

What happens during a root canal?

Root canal therapy may sound a little scary but isn't much different than having a cavity filled. After your Mt. Prospect dentist opens your tooth, he'll remove your tooth pulp, thoroughly clean the interior, then clean and shape the root canals with a tiny file. In most cases, you'll leave the office with a temporary filling. In about a week, you'll return for your second appointment and receive a permanent filling. Your dentist may also recommend that you add a crown to the treated tooth, as root canal therapy can weaken teeth and increase the risk of cracks or fractures.

How can I tell if I need a root canal?

You may have one or more of these signs or symptoms if a pulp infection or infection is to blame for your pain.

  • Sensitivity: Inflamed or infected teeth are often very sensitive to temperature extremes. Drinking an ice-cold beverage or a piping hot piece of apple pie can trigger pain that lasts as long as 30 minutes.
  • Pain: Pain can be constant or come and go. You may also notice an increase in pain when you chew or push on the tooth.
  • Gum Changes: Red, swollen gums may occur if you need a root canal.
  • Darkening: Teeth sometimes change color if they're inflamed or infected.
  • Dental Abscess Symptoms: Dental abscesses occur when you have a bacterial infection in your tooth pulp. Symptoms include severe pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, facial swelling, pus around the tooth or a pimple-like bump on the gum. Call the dentist immediately if you experience these symptoms.

Root canal therapy can help you save your tooth and relieve your pain. Call Mt. Prospect, IL, dentist Dr. George Mui at (847) 253-5901 to schedule your appointment.

By George Mui, DDS, Ltd. Gentle Dental Care
July 06, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
SavingaDiseasedPrimaryToothCouldMeanBetterOralHealthLaterinLife

It’s often best health-wise to preserve even the most troubled tooth—including a child’s primary (“baby”) tooth. If that sounds like too much effort for a tooth that lasts only a few years, there’s a big reason why—if it’s lost prematurely, the incoming permanent tooth above it could erupt out of position.

Preserving a decayed primary tooth could include procedures similar to a root canal treatment, commonly used in adult permanent teeth with inner decay. However, we may need to modify this approach to protect the primary tooth’s pulp. This innermost layer plays a critical role in early dental development.

Because an adult tooth has reached maturity, removing diseased pulp tissue has little effect on its permanent health. But the pulp contributes to dentin growth (the layer between it and the outer enamel) in primary and young permanent teeth, so removing it could ultimately compromise the tooth’s long-term health.

Our goal then with a child’s tooth is to remove as much diseased tissue as possible while involving the pulp as little as possible. What techniques we use will depend on how much of the pulp has become infected.

For example, if decay has advanced to but hasn’t yet penetrated the pulp, we may remove all but a small amount of the decayed structure just next to the pulp to avoid its exposure. We may then apply an antibacterial agent to this remaining portion and seal the tooth to curb further infection.

If on the other hand the pulp has become infected, we may try to remove only the infected portion and leave the remaining pulp intact. We’ll only be able to do this, however, if we deem the remaining pulp healthy enough to remain infection-free after the procedure. If not, we may need to remove the entire pulp as with a traditional root canal. This option, though, is a last resort due to the possible effect on dentin growth and the tooth’s long-term health.

As you can see attempts to preserve a primary tooth can be quite involved. But if we can help it reach its full life span, it could mean better dental health for a lifetime.

If you would like more information on caring for primary teeth, 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 “Root Canal Treatment for Children’s Teeth.”

By George Mui, DDS, Ltd. Gentle Dental Care
May 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  
RootCanalAwarenessWeekATimetoLearnHowTeethAreSaved

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the month of May? Balmy breezes? Sweet-smelling flowers? How about root canal treatment?

The last item might seem out of place…but for the last ten years, Root Canal Awareness week has been celebrated in May. So let’s take a closer look at this important—and often misunderstood—dental procedure.

What we commonly call a “root canal” is a special treatment that can save diseased teeth which might otherwise be lost. But the root canal itself is actually a set of hollow, branching passages deep inside the hard outer tissue of the tooth. The tiny “canals” contain the tooth’s soft pulp, including nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. These tissues help teeth grow during childhood but aren’t necessary in healthy adult teeth—and, what’s worse, they can become infected via deep cavity or a crack in the tooth’s outer layers.

When bacteria infect the pulp tissue, the inflammation often causes intense discomfort. In time, the harmful microorganisms can also pass through the tooth’s root and into the tissue of the jaw, resulting in a painful abscess. Eventually, if it isn’t treated, the tooth will likely be lost.

Root canal treatment is designed to remove the infection, relieve the pain…and save the tooth. It is usually performed under anesthesia for your comfort. To begin the procedure, a small hole is made in the tooth’s enamel to give access to the pulp; then, tiny instruments are used to remove the diseased tissue and disinfect the tooth. Finally, it is sealed up against re-infection. Following treatment, a cap (or crown) is often needed to restore the tooth’s full function and appearance.

Despite some rumors you may have heard, root canal treatment is neither very painful nor likely to cause other health problems. So if you come across these discredited ideas, remember that dentists and dental specialists called endodontists perform some 25 million root canal procedures every year—and this treatment method  has been validated for decades.

Of course, like any medical procedure, root canal treatment is not 100% successful. While the procedure has a very high success rate, it’s possible that additional treatments will be needed in some cases. However, the alternative—extracting the tooth—has similar potential downsides; plus a replacement tooth will be needed to avoid the health and lifestyle troubles caused by missing teeth. But one thing is certain: Ignoring disease in the tooth’s soft tissues isn’t a good move, because the infection won’t go away on its own—and down the road it will only get worse.

So this May, while you’re taking time to smell the flowers, spare a thought for the often-misunderstood root canal. If you’d like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”