One of the most common dental emergencies is a severe toothache. If you are experiencing chronic toothache pain do not put off a visit to the dentist – waiting will only allow the issue causing the pain to grow worse. There are many different causes for toothache pain. If you are experiencing severe pain it is possible that the bacteria causing the tooth decay has reached the nerve of the tooth, causing an irreversible infection. If left un-treated this can lead to the formation of an abscess and even more pain. When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected most of the time (as long as it still has good bone support) the tooth can still be saved by removing the nerve inside the tooth –a usually painless procedure referred to as “root canal therapy”.
Common Signs that your tooth may need Root Canal Treatment:
- An abscess or pustule on your gum.
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold.
- Sensitivity to pressure or tapping on the tooth.
- Severe toothache .
- A throbbing “heartbeat” like pain when you lay down.
- Tooth pain that wakes you up at night or pain that cannot be controlled without pain killers.
- Facial swelling and or tenderness.
- Sometimes no symptoms are present.
Using the state of the art in mechanical rotary instrumentation, each and every year, Dr. Willoughby performs hundreds and hundreds of root canal treatments in order to help his patients save their teeth.
Using digital x-ray technology Dr. Willoughby can provide you with an accurate diagnosis to help quickly identify the problem tooth and give you his opinion as to whether or not the tooth in question is worth saving or not and whether or not you require root canal therapy.
If the infection has reached a point where it has started to destroy the surrounding bone, sometime the tooth cannot be saved and must be extracted. Even if this occurs there are still other options for replacing that tooth which Dr. Willoughby and his staff will be sure to discuss with you.
With dental advances and local anesthetics, most people have little if any pain with a root canal. In fact, it’s probably more painful living with a decayed tooth. Root canal alternatives include extracting the damaged tooth and replacing it with a dental implant, bridge or removable partial denture.
The following are excerpts from the Mayo Clinic’s website which do a great job of describing the progression of decay leading to an infected nerve, abscess formation, requiring root canal therapy.
Now days, with advances in dental equipment and technology most people have little if any pain with root canal treatment. In fact, it’s probably more painful living with the decayed tooth. Root canal alternatives include extracting the damaged tooth and replacing it with a dental implant, bridge or removable partial denture.
The long term success of any Root Canal treatment relies heavily upon three basic factors; 1) proper debridement, cleaning and shaping of the root canal system using appropriate rotary filing systems and antimicrobial, disinfectant, wound healing agents; 2) ensuring that the permanent filling material placed into the canal system is sealed as close to the apex or “tip” of the root as possible and 3) that a properly fitted crown is then placed on the root filled tooth a.s.a.p., in order to restore the tooth to normal form and function”.
Dr. Andrew Willoughby, General Dentist.
In our office, Dr. Willoughby and his staff will always take the time to show you the before and after x-rays of your teeth to demonstrate just how successful your procedure has turned out. Although past performance is not always a guarantee of future success, it is a good indicator of experience and Dr. Willoughby has performed literally hundreds and hundreds of successful root canal treatments. The following are actual clinical cases performed by Dr. Willoughby showing before and after images of successful Root Canal Treatment.
This first case shows extensive decay well below the gum line and deep into the furcation of the tooth. This patient has been told by another office that this tooth was non-restorable would need to be extracted so that either a bridge or Dental implant could be placed.
Root canal therapy was performed on the lower first molar and a nice apical and lateral seal was achieved (indicated by cement puffs at root tips and lateral canal) then a post, new core build up and resin bonded All Porcelain Crown (APC) was placed on the first molar (not the back molar). Another happy patient who is still functioning normally on this tooth after 3 years. Now all she needs to do is get the amalgam fillings in the back molar and bicuspid teeth removed and replaced.