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ROOT CANALS IN WINSTON SALEM

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ROOT CANALS

Dentists are in agreement: there is no better substitute for natural, healthy teeth. Many restorative procedures on the market, such as implants, bridges, and crowns, have come quite far in substituting for missing teeth. But dental literature supports maintaining your natural teeth as long as possible.

WHAT IS ENDODONTIC TREATMENT?

Endodontic treatment is a specialty area of dentistry focusing on the inside of the tooth or nerve area. Though appearing to be simple in structure, teeth have a complex make up of tissue that keeps them strong and healthy. Professionals in endodontics have not only completed dental school, but additional education focused on performing procedures pertaining to the insides of the teeth.Endodontic treatment or a root canal is a dental procedure performed to remove disease or damage affecting the internal portion the tooth (the pulp). It is the most common endodontic procedure, performed an average of 14-million times a year.

WHY A TOOTH REQUIRES ENDODONTIC TREATMENT

Endodontic treatment can be used to remove disease or save an injured tooth, preventing the need for removal. Some of the most common instances for needing endodontic treatment include:

Tooth Fractures or Chips: When the pulp of the tooth is exposed due to a cracked tooth or failed crown, the exposed insides can cause stabbing pain and pose a high risk of infection.

Bacteria: Bacteria build up is the prevailing cause of dental concerns and endodontic issues. When the tooth pulp is invaded by bacteria, severe damage to the area is imminent if not removed. Inflammation is the first sign of a bacterial infection and can destroy the tooth if not removed by endodontic treatments such as root canal therapy.

Unintentional Removal Avulsion: There are some cases where a tooth is unintentionally removed by force to the mouth. In these instances, it's critical for the patient to keep the tooth and space wet, placing the tooth directly back into the mouth until a dentist can be seen for an emergency procedure. A root canal can be effective in replacing the tooth in its original socket without the need for an implant.

Injury: Patients who have sustained injuries to their teeth, such as direct hits to mouth or face, can be at increased risk of endodontic infection if the tooth comes loose. Root canals can help stabilize the tooth if the tooth is severely injured to prevent having to extract the tooth as an alternative. 

ENDODONTIC TREATMENT PROCESS

In the case of root canal therapy, the length of time and number of appointments will vary based on the level of treatment needed. In common cases, it can take up to two visits for a full restoration, while other procedures may only take one.

When arriving for your root canal appointment, your dentist will offer a local anesthetic to ease discomfort during the procedure. A protective appliance called a ‘dental dam’ will be used to keep saliva and bacteria away from the area where the root canal will take place. By creating an opening in the top of the tooth, your dentist will remove the infected pulp.

After the tooth pulp has been removed, the newly created space will need to be filled to prevent further infection or decay. Using a biocompatible material called ‘gutta-percha’, the area where the tooth pulp was will be completely filled. This rubbery material will protect the tooth and is then covered in sealant for a tight seal.

The final step in the root canal process is the placement of the restorative product, which could be a crown or other restoration depending on the tooth and amount of remaining tooth. If your dentist decides a crown would be the best fit, your dentist will temporarily fill the tooth to protect it while the crown is being created. The crown is designed to fit directly on top of the treated tooth and will match the shape, size, and tint of the original/surrounding teeth as close as possible. Once the crown is completed, you will make an appointment to return for the placement of the crown, completing the restoration process.

SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR

When teeth are infected on the inside, it may not always be visible enough for you to catch in the mirror during your daily oral hygiene routine. However, there are typical signs and symptoms that may indicate a hidden endodontic concern:

  • Discoloration of a tooth/teeth
  • Experiencing tenderness while biting or chewing 
  • Unidentified pain in lymph nodes near the infection 
  • Gums appear inflamed and tender to the touch
  • Tooth sensitivity when eating/drinking cold or hot substances  

Once you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s critical to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to monitor the problem in case endodontic treatment can be used to restore your teeth.

Dentists Winston-Salem, NC

CONTACT LEAL, SPANGLER & JOHNSON

Drs. Leal, Spangler, and Johnson in Winston-Salem, NC provide the highest quality dental care with a personal touch, thoughtfully considering each patient and their needs.  We offer comprehensive family and esthetic dentistry and love helping people achieve a healthy smile.

We are accepting new patients.

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ENDODONTIC TREATMENT EXPENSE

Endodontic procedures, though very common, are not all the same. The degree in which your tooth is damaged, the number of teeth involved in the damage, the final restoration option, and your insurance plan will all play a part in the ending cost of your procedure. Consulting with your dentist about the best treatment options available will help you decide what route to take when calling your insurance company regarding your coverage. With the combined experience of your dental team, you will be sure to find a solution that works best for your oral health and budget.

HOW TO PREVENT FROM NEEDING ENDODONTIC TREATMENT

Endodontic treatment can be quite helpful for patients who need it. But preventing the need for these procedures is highly recommended in protecting the health of your teeth. Some of the best ways to prevent the need for endodontic treatment:

  • Following your daily oral hygiene routine (brushing, flossing, rinsing)
  • Attend check-up appointments with your dentist at least twice a year
  • Wear a mouthguard if playing high impact sports
  • Make sure to have all cavities filled as soon as possible to prevent enlargement

PRACTICE REVIEWS

I have been a patient of this practice for several years and cannot say enough great things! Though I typically see Dr. Spangler, all three doctors are extremely knowledgable, thorough and attentive to detail. The staff as a whole combines professionalism with genuine concern for the patient to provide individualized care. Scheduling or being seen in a timely manner has never been an issue as the administrative staff members are kind, caring and extremely helpful! I recommend this office to all of my friends-- my family members are already patients 🙂

Brianna Robinson

My daughters and I went for a new client appointment today and were thrilled with their staff and level of service provided. Would highly recommend their office to anyone looking for top quality dental service.

Angie Mauldin

Absolutely fantastic dental practice - I have been a patient of Dr. Leal's for years and have received top notch dental care. The business side of the practice is great too. I could not be more pleased with my total care - dentists, hygienists and office staff. They genuinely care about me, are very respectful and have always run on time for my appointments.

Will Miller

CONTACT DRS. LEAL, SPANGLER, AND JOHNSON TODAY

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