If your Sterling Heights dentist told you that you need to undergo root canal therapy, you’ll need to read this article so that you can make a more informed decision. Keep in mind that Dr. Fardi Farhat is always available to offer this second opinion and discuss the treatment options available.
Does a Root Canal Save the Tooth?
The experts at Dental One Care can only recommend a root canal if your tooth is infected, and it is either dead or dying. In this case, the procedure is geared at preserving that dead tooth so that you can continue using it to eat and speak normally. A dead tooth is already dead, so it cannot be saved.
Otherwise, if the dead tooth is extracted, the gap left can result in bone resorption and difficulty in eating and speaking until you replace the missing tooth with an implant or any other restoration.
How Dentists Determine the Necessity of a Root Canal
Determining whether a tooth is dead or dying and if a root canal is in order isn’t a clear cut process. The experience and skill of the dentist assessing you matters, because infected teeth could recover if the infection is caught early. The following considerations can help the Sterling Heights dentist make a determination about the necessity of a root canal.
Lingering Pain. Pain can be described as either lingering or non-lingering. Either of these types has implications regarding the necessity of a root canal. For instance, pain that goes away soon after the stimulus is removed (for example when you stop sipping on a hot beverage) is non-lingering pain because it goes away once the cause is removed. Such pain could indicate that the pulp inside your tooth is still alive and can recover from the infection, so a root canal may not be necessary. However, pain that lasts long after the stimulus is removed is called lingering pain, and it suggests that the infection is so advanced that there is no chance that the pulp will recover. In this situation, a root canal is necessary.
Positional Pain. Dr. Fardi Farhat will also pose several questions to you in order to ascertain whether the tooth pain you feel worsens when your body is in certain positions. For instance, does the pain begin or get worse when you lie down? If you experience worse pain when you bend or lie down, you may have a tooth abscess and the dentist in Sterling Heights, MI may recommend a root canal since the tooth could already be dead.
Spontaneous Pain. Our dental care professionals at Dental One Care in Sterling Heights will also need to know whether the tooth pain that you feel starts spontaneously or only when a stimulus, such as cold drink, triggers it. Tooth pain that just occurs out of the blue when you aren’t doing anything to trigger it leads us to believe the tooth is dead. In contrast, if the pain only comes when a stimulus is present, that could point to the possibility that the pulp can recover from the infection. A root canal is a possibility for spontaneous pain, but the procedure may not be required if the pain only comes when the tooth is stimulated by something hot or cold.
Referred Pain. Referred pain is pain that originates in one part of the body and is manifested in another part of the body. For example, the pain from an abscessed tooth can trigger a headache or an earache. Dr. Fardi Farhat skillfully questions patients in order to tease out information about any referred pain. If this type of pain is discovered, you may need a root canal because referred pain is an indicator of a tooth abscess.
Our dentists in Sterling Heights will assess the information gathered on the issues above, and then decide whether a root canal is called for or another treatment option will suffice.
Why Root Canals Aren’t 100% Clean
Basically, a root canal procedure involves cutting an opening at the top of a dead or dying tooth and then inserting instruments to clean out all the infected pulpal tissue from the tooth canals. The void left is then disinfected and sealed to prevent bacterial intrusion.
However, Dr. Fardi Farhat explains that things don’t always work out as planned because each tooth has multiple canals that intercross. Consequently, it can be hard to do a perfect job of removing all the infected tissues, so there is a chance that the root canal could fail and pain may develop later.
This possibility is the reason why you should ask your dentist about the likelihood of success with a root canal, and if there is a chance that the procedure will fail, then you could consider getting a dental implant immediately instead of taking chances with a root canal that has a small chance of working.
Some Things to Keep In Mind
Many times, a dentist will recommend that you undergo a root canal when you come in with intense pain from a tooth infection.
In most cases, the pain will drive you to accept any solution recommended by your dentist, but Dr. Fardi Farhat suggests that this is the time to go slow and be sure that a root canal is the best option. For example, the infection may not be so severe that the tooth cannot survive, in which case a root canal may not be justifiable. On the contrary, the tooth may be so severely decayed that extracting it may be the most feasible solution. We asked our friend, Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, Kentucky, about root canal therapy. Dr. Neda said that every person is different. So, you may need a root canal or you might not. The best way you can find out is by asking your doctor before things get worse.
Ask Your Sterling Heights Dentist
Undergoing a root canal is definitely something you should think about. It is helpful for you to ask as many questions as possible so that you are sure that the best alternative in the circumstances is to undergo a root canal procedure. If you have some doubts, contact Dental One Care, and Dr. Fardi Farhat will be more than glad to give you a second opinion about the status of your tooth.
While talking to Dr. Fardi Farhat about your concerns, remember to ask about what you should expect before, during, and after the root canal procedure. Dr. Farhart will give you all the information that you need so that the procedure is successful. Now knowing this information, don’t delay undergoing the procedure at Dental One Care because any delay could allow the infection to spread and affect not just the nearby teeth but also other organs in the body, such as your heart.