Most people have heard of a root canal. The idea of needing a root canal tends to create unneeded fear for its recipients. Most of a persons anxiety in relation to this procedure is caused by misinformation or a lack of knowledge of what to expect. The question is,”what is it and why do you need it?”.
Why Do You Need a Root Canal?
Let’s start by explaining why a root canal is needed. This procedure is needed when your tooth’s root becomes damaged either by injury or a deep cavity. The pulp (soft tissue inside the tooth) has become inflamed or diseased. At this point, a patient typically displays symptoms of pain and swelling. If this situation is not addressed, the tooth can become irreparable. However, that is not the only thing. A patient with an untreated infection, even in a tooth, will become more ill as time passes.
How Is A Root Canal Performed.
First of all, not all dentist will perform a root canal. If your family dentist does not perform that procedure, he will recommend an Endodontis (which is a dentist that specializes in root canals). During a procedure, the troubling tooth is numbed. An opening is made in the crown of the tooth where special tools are used to clean out the infected canals and root of the tooth. Once that is complete, your tooth is filled with a permanent material to ensure that your tooth remains free of contamination and infection. The final step fills the crown of your tooth with a temporary filling. The temporary filling will remain until a permanent filling or crown is used to replace it.
What Is The Alternative To A Root Canal?
The only alternative to a root canal is to pull the tooth. As a dentist, I always recommend working to keep all your pearly whites as they are not replaceable. It is a cheaper option but ultimately can cause you other dental issues as time moves on. For example, teeth shifting, eating, bone loss.
If you need to go for a deep cleaning then chances are you have periodontal disease that needs to be treated. A deep cleaning is usually the first stage to begin the process of removing the bacteria and particles from underneath your gums. The bacteria and particles break down your gums by detaching them from your teeth. You can take that one step further by adding Arestin to your deep cleaning process. The Arestin will be applied to the infected areas after your treatment. The Arestin will dissolve so no removal is required.
What is Arestin?
Arestin is an antibiotic that helps kill the bacteria under your gums. It is tiny particles that are smaller than a grain of sand. The microspheres are filled with the antibiotic minocycline hydrochloride. These microspheres release the antibiotic over a 90 day period. This is turn kills the bacteria under your gums so your gums can heal better than without it.
After Arestin Treatment
After treatment, avoid chewing hard, crunchy or sticky foods for 7 days. You should also not floss or use a dental pick in the treated areas for 10 days, Drink plenty of water.
After the days have passed, it is important to maintain a good oral health routine. This should include brushing twice a day as well as flossing. If you have any questions, feel free to give the office of Glasscock Dental a call.
What Will Happen If I Don’t Treat My Periodontal Disease?
The prognosis for untreated Periodontal Disease does not have the best outcome. Periodontal Disease not only can affect your teeth and gums but research has found it can affect your overall health as well. As for your teeth, the beginning stages can cause painful chewing, bleeding gums and bad breath. Most people believe that if they don’t treat their Periodontal Disease, losing some teeth and having difficulty eating steak or corn on the cob would be their worst problem. However, that is far from the truth of what this untreated bacterial infection can do to you. As medicine continues to advance, scientist continue to find supporting evidence of the association between periodontal disease and systemic conditions. These conditions reach far beyond your teeth and can affect your health in a negative way.
Conditions Such As:
- cardiovascular disease (heart attack/stroke)
- type 2 diabetes
- adverse pregnancy outcomes
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- chronic kidney disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- cognitive impairment
- metabolic syndrome
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a bacterial infection under your gums. As with most infections, if you don’t treat it, it will only get worse. This infection works by breaking down your gums and detaching your gums from your teeth. Over time, once this infection has progressed and has gone untreated, tooth loss will be imminent.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
But there is good news! Periodontal Disease can be prevented and treated. I know you have been told all through your life that good oral hygiene is important for healthy teeth and gums. It is true! Regular brushing and flossing can mitigate your chances of gum disease. That however is only the first step. Regular dental check-ups and dental cleanings are important for maintaining a healthy smile.
Why Do I Need a Deep Dental Cleaning?
Sometimes we avoid going to the dentist as often as we should. You can make all kinds of excuses ( lack of time, fear of the dentist, unable to get time off from work ) but when all is said and done, lack of maintenance of your teeth can be a costly mistake not only for your health but your pocket as well. The consequence for avoiding those much needed dental visits and cleanings can leave you dealing with gum disease and cavities which could have been prevented.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Over time, plaque builds up on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque causes gums to become inflamed and easy to bleed if not removed. As the plaque and bacteria on your teeth increases, pockets begin to form in areas where the gum has began to pull away from the tooth. These pockets leave more room for plaque and bacteria to build increasing the damage to the gums and depth of the pocket. As the damage to the gums increases, the onset of gum disease begins.
How to Correct Gum Disease Once It Has Began
To correct the problem and return your gums to a healthy state, a deep cleaning is needed. To determined if a deep cleaning is needed, your dentist or hygienist will probe your teeth and determine if you have periodontal pockets 4 millimeters or greater in your gums. Only the areas with periodontal pockets 4 millimeters or greater will need a deep cleaning (scaling or root planing) to return your gums to a healthy state.
What is a Deep Cleaning ( Root Planning or Scaling)?
A deep cleaning is when your hygienist needs to remove bacteria, tartar and plaque from below your gum line. A regular cleaning requires removing plaque and tartar from above the gum line. Since the deep cleaning (Root Planning or Scaling) is more invasive, this procedure is performed using a local anesthetic for numbing. While having this procedure done, Glasscock Dental highly recommends using Arestin along with your deep cleaning treatment. Arestin is an antibiotic to treat the bacteria under your gums. The antibiotic will last under your gums for approximately 90 days which will help your gums heal better than without it.
Recovery From Your Deep Cleaning
As with any more invasive treatments, it isn’t unusual to experience some tenderness or discomfort. Discomfort typically won’t last more than 24 hours and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers.