Root Canal Therapy in Littleton

Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

If you are suffering from a painful, persistent toothache, you may have an infected tooth in need of a root canal. At Carlson Family Dentistry, our team performs gentle root canals to save your tooth and help you avoid further damage or more severe and costly issues. To learn more about root canal therapy, give us a call or stop by our Littleton office today!

Dr. Carlson and smiling patient

Signs of an Infected Tooth

A serious, prolonged toothache is the most common symptom of an infected tooth, particularly if it lasts more than 1-2 days
Severely infected teeth may become discolored and cause the surrounding gum tissue to become red and swollen
Sensitivity to heat, cold, and the pressure of chewing could indicate a serious cavity or infected tooth
Swelling of the face and cheek near the affected tooth is a common sign of an advanced tooth infection

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy is the preferred method of restoring a tooth that has become infected. Tooth infections occur when the hard, outer layers of enamel and dentin are damaged. This exposes the tooth’s inner pulp to oral bacteria, eventually resulting in an infection. Most commonly, this happens when an uncontrolled cavity eats through the entire outer structure of the tooth. However, a tooth that is cracked or damaged by oral trauma can also become infected.

If left untreated, an infected tooth will cause serious pain and discomfort. Root canal therapy is used to save your tooth structure. During this procedure, Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will clean and disinfect the interior of your tooth to remove bacteria and decayed material, then fill and cover it up to restore its structure. 

What Can I Expect During My Root Canal Procedure?

The procedure is very straightforward and is totally pain-free. In fact, root canal therapy is only about as invasive as having a cavity filled. First, Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will clean your mouth, numb the treatment area, and isolate your infected tooth with a dental dam.

Then, the procedure will begin. Specialized tools will be used to remove any damaged and decayed enamel from your tooth and create a small opening. Next, Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will flush out of the inside of the tooth to remove bacteria.

Once this process has been completed, an inert material (called “gutta-percha”) is used to fill and support your tooth’s structure. Finally, a filling or a crown will be placed to restore and protect the exterior of the tooth.

What Can I Expect As I Heal From A Root Canal?

You will experience no pain or discomfort during a root canal procedure. However, when the numbing starts to wear off, your tooth may start to feel a bit tender and sore. You can take medicine like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin if your tooth hurts. 

Any pain and discomfort should stop within a few days. You will be able to eat a normal diet as soon as your procedure has been completed, but you should avoid chewing food with your restored tooth if it has a temporary filling or temporary crown.

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