Steps For Getting a Root Canal
Root canals are no fun, but millions of teeth are treated and saved every year with root canal treatments. Root canal treatment is one type of endodontic treatment, which means it treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Even though root canals can be scary, our dentists walk you through each step and answer all your questions. Keep reading to learn more about the steps of getting a root canal.
Before Treatment Begins
When you arrive at your dentist’s office, you can first expect your dentist to go over any X-rays that have previously been taken to prepare for the procedure. Then, they will administer a local anesthetic using a small needle to numb the area. You may feel a slight pinch, but there is very little pain when the anesthetic is administered. The numbing sensation will take effect almost immediately.
Once numb, the dentist will place a dental dam, which is a small rubber sheet, over the affected tooth to protect and isolate the area. This will keep the tooth clean and dry during the procedure.
During Root Canal Treatment
The root canal treatment itself will take about ninety minutes. Using a specially designed drill, your dentist or endodontist will create an opening in the top of the affected tooth, which will fully expose the top of the tooth pulp, containing the tooth’s damaged nerve and blood vessels. The doctor will then remove tooth pulp from the inside of the tooth and the root.
The space that the pulp occupied will then be carefully cleaned and widened shaping the inner chamber to accommodate a filling. The dentist will then irrigate the area with a variety of solutions to wash away any remaining pulp. The tooth and surrounding area will be thoroughly dried before moving onto the next step.
To prevent infection, an antimicrobial medication will be put on to the root canal. The majority of cases the tooth canals will now be filled with a biocompatible material. The material used is typically gutta-percha, a rubber-like material, that seals to the tooth with an adhesive cement and helps prevent further infection.
Finally, a temporary filling is put in place on top of the tooth to provide protection from food and debris until a permanent filling or crown can be placed. In some cases, your dentist may be able to skip this step and place a permanent filling in the same appointment.
After Root Canal Treatment
Once the root canal procedure is completed, you’ll need to make sure you take extra precautions with the treated tooth. You may experience sensitivity or mild discomfort in the area for a few days- you can use over-the-counter pain medicine such as acetaminophen. If significant pain or swelling continues, call your dentist. You will most likely have a follow-up appointment with your dentist to restore the tooth or remove the temporary filling and place a permanent filling.
After the root canal treatment and restoration with a filling or crown have been completed, your tooth can now provide normal, healthy function. We’re happy to help with any questions you have. Call us today at 908-689-0911 to schedule an appointment.
How To Floss Properly
Learn How to Floss With Castle Family Dentistry
Flossing is a key part of the tooth-cleaning process because it removes plaque from between teeth and at the gum line, where tooth decay and periodontal disease often begins. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food and sugars in your mouth and releases an acid that eats away at the outer shell of your teeth, causing cavities or gum disease. At Castle Family Dentistry in Washington, NJ, we believe it is important to educate you on how to properly care for your teeth. You should brush and floss twice a day—see our tips for proper flossing below!
Tips For Proper Flossing
- Wind: Wind 18″ of floss around middle fingers of each hand.
- Guide: Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a 1″- 2″ length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
- Glide: Gently guide floss between teeth using a zig-zag motion. Be careful not to let the floss snap between teeth.
- Shape: Make a C shape around the tooth with the floss.
- Slide: Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and beneath the gum line. Make sure you floss the back of each tooth too. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.
Tooth Decay & How To Prevent Cavities
Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. At Castle Family Dentistry, we want to share what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
- Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
- Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
- Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.
Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up overtime which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
- Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
If you think you have a cavity or have more questions about cavity prevention, contact our Washington, NJ office at 908-689-0911.Learn More About Fillings and Sealants
What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?
Learn About Teeth Whitening at Castle Family Dentistry
When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At-home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Castle Family Dentistry offers professional whitening, which includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?
Both options use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent whereas professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.
At-Home Whitening Products
Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums or tooth sensitivity. Always talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.
If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Call our Washington, NJ office at 908-689-0911 if you have questions about teeth whitening or to set up an appointment.Learn More About Teeth Whitening
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?
One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of tooth replacement . If you are considering dental implants for missing teeth, Castle Family Dentistry wants you to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.
Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Cons of Dental Implants
No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:
1. You have to meet a set of requirements
In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.
2. The cost of the procedure
While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.
3. The procedure can be lengthy
Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.
Pros of Dental Implants
While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
1. They look and feel like natural teeth
Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.
2. You can eat and chew with ease
Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
3. Dental implants can last a lifetime
Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
4. They’re easy to take care of
You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.
5. They prevent bone loss
Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.
You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so contact our Washington, NJ dental office today!Learn More About Dental Implants
Root Canal Symptoms To Watch Out For
Each year, over 60 million Americans visit the dentist. Many of these visits can be attributed to cavities, which are small holes in your teeth that allow bacteria to get inside. But sometimes, other dental issues occur that require additional treatments. Root canals are considered the best option for saving a damaged tooth when an abscess is present. At Castle Family Dentistry, we want to provide you with some root canal symptoms to watch out for.
Signs You Need A Root Canal
1. Persistent Pain
Having persistent pain is one way to tell if you need a root canal. The pain might be constant, or it might go away, but it always comes back. You may feel the pain deep in the bone of your tooth, or it might be in your jaw, face, or other teeth.
Tooth pain may have other causes, such as gum disease, cavities, or an impacted tooth, but it’s always a good idea to talk with your dentist if you have tooth pain.
2. Tooth Discoloration
An infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause your tooth to become discolored. Trauma to the tooth or the breakdown of the internal tissue can damage the roots and give the tooth a grayish-black appearance. While there might be other reasons a tooth is discolored, it could be the cause of a root canal so talk with your dentist!
3. Sensitivity to Heat and Cold
When your teeth start to hurt from drinking a hot cup of coffee or drinking ice water, you may need a root canal.
The pain can be just a dull feeling, or it can be a sharp pain that lingers for an extended period of time, even after you’ve finished eating or drinking. If your tooth hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold, it may be an indication that the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth are infected or damaged.
4. Swollen Gums
Swollen gums near the painful tooth can be a sign of an issue that requires a root canal. The swelling may come and go. It may be tender when you touch it, or it may not be painful to the touch.
There also might be a pimple-like abscess on your gum, which may ooze pus from the infection of the tooth. This can give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth and make your breath smell bad.
5. A Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth in an accident, in a contact sport, or by chewing on something hard, bacteria can set in and lead to inflammation and infection. Even if your tooth didn’t crack but you did injure it, the injury can still cause damage to the nerves of the tooth. The nerve can become inflamed and cause pain and sensitivity, which may require root canal treatment.
These are just a few signs that you may need a root canal. If you have any of these root canal symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist. Call our Washington, NJ dental office at 908-689-0911 and we can talk you through possible solutions.Learn More About Root Canal Treatment