Treating Severe Decay With A Root Canal

Santa MOnica dentist offers root canal treatment to restore your smile

In our last blog, we discussed how a filling can repair a cavity. This restorative treatment can stop decay from advancing. However, if you were unable to have decay treated in time, there are other methods available. Root canal treatment can repair the area after severe damage and keep your teeth intact. Today, your Santa Monica Dental Arts in California is here to explain when this process is necessary.

Signs That You May Need A Root Canal

Usually, a cavity may be noticed by the hole that it creates in your tooth, or an increased feeling of sensitivity when you eat certain foods. Your dentist may also detect this during your biannual checkup. Decay can also grow without noticeable signs in some cases, allowing it to progress into further stages. If you have persistent pain, discoloration, or swelling of the gums, you should see your dentist. From there, they can help determine the severity of the cavity and decide if a root canal is the right treatment.

Root Canal Treatment To Repair Your Tooth

In most cases, your dentist will want to preserve the tooth and not extract it. This can be achieved with a root canal. First, the area may be numbed so that you can be comfortable during your procedure. Then, the damaged pulp will be removed. Root canals differ from fillings because the decay has reached a deeper part of the tooth. The pulp contains blood vessels, tissues, and nerves, which is why progressive cavities can be painful. Once this is removed, the area is filled with a material called gutta-percha. This is different than the composite resin that may be used with a filling. After that, the area is sealed, and a crown may be placed on top.

If You Do Not Have This Restoration Done

As mentioned previously, your dentist’s priority is to keep your natural dentition when possible. If you do not have the necessary restorations done, though, you may need to have the structure removed. If you have had a tooth removed, you may need to have a prosthetic replacement created. Having a gap in your smile can cause your other teeth to shift out of place, cause your jaw to weaken, and change your ability to speak and chew.

Before the removal, numbing or anesthesia may be used. Then, the tooth will gently be removed, and the area will be closed. During your recovery time, you may need to eat softer foods and avoid smoking.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

To help restore your tooth after a severe cavity, call Santa Monica Dental Arts to schedule an appointment. You can contact us at 310-395-1261.