Endodontics & Extractions
When we smile, we feel better and relate better to those around us. Unfortunately, there are times when our smiles are affected by tooth pain.
The team at Waters Family Dentistry is your Grand Island source for dental health care. We are here to help when your tooth pain is interfering with your daily activities. In some cases of tooth pain, endodontic therapy is necessary to save the tooth.
If the tooth can not be saved or the patient chooses not to save the tooth, the tooth can be extracted.
The Layers of a Tooth
To understand the basics of tooth pain, it may be helpful to review the makeup of a tooth. The tooth is made up of three basic layers.
The outer layer, or enamel, is the mineral-rich surface that protects the inside of the tooth. In fact, it is the hardest substance in the body. Dentin is the next layer and makes up the majority of the tooth. It is dense and mineralized but not as hard as the enamel. The innermost layer is the pulp and is the location for the nerve and blood supply of the tooth.
Common Reasons for Root Canals
Dental decay is the destruction of tooth tissues from acid-producing bacteria. When decay spreads into the middle of the tooth, it damages and infects the pulp. The infection can spread inside the root of the tooth and cause an abscess. When this occurs, the infection can be treated with a root canal to save the tooth.
- Symptoms of a dental abscess
- Swelling in your neck, face or cheek
- Sensitivity to temperatures
- Sensitivity to chewing or biting
- Throbbing sensations that may spread into jaw or neck
- A sudden bad-smelling, bad-tasting fluid in your mouth if the abscess bursts
In addition to dental infection, other reasons for root canals include a cracked or broken tooth, dental trauma, and repeated dental fillings.
Root Canal Treatment
Dr. Waters will determine the need for a root canal with several diagnostic tools. He will evaluate the appearance of the tooth, root, and surrounding bone with a dental x-ray. During the examination, you will be asked to describe your symptoms. Before you and Dr. Waters determine endodontic therapy is the best course of treatment to save your tooth, he will discuss your unique situation and answer any questions you may have. In some cases, he may refer you to a dental specialist called an endodontist.
During root canal therapy, the tooth area is numbed, and an access opening is created. Dr. Waters removes the infected tissue and replaces it with a special sealing material. Since the nerve and blood supply is removed during a root canal, the tooth can become more brittle and prone to breakage. A crown is recommended to prevent future breakage.
When a tooth has become so damaged or broken that it cannot be saved, a dental extraction may be needed. Extractions may also be indicated when a patient with tooth crowding is preparing for orthodontics. Third molars are also commonly extracted when patients don’t have enough space in their jaws.
Dr. Waters uses a special technique to make the numbing process more comfortable, then he gently removes the tooth. In some cases, Dr. Waters may refer you an oral surgeon for your extraction. Once the tooth has been removed and the gum area has healed, you will able to move forward with tooth replacement.
If you or a loved one needs a dental provider, Waters Family Dentistry is an excellent choice in Grand Island. Please call our office at (308) 382-1734 to schedule an appointment. We are here to help!