When caught early, tooth decay is addressed with a standard filling or something similar to remove the decay and close off the area. However, when the decay expands beyond the outer tooth and affects the inner portion of the tooth, you will need a root canal. Also known as an endodontic treatment, root canal therapy at Contemporary Dental Arts removes the infected pulp from the tooth, cleans the cavity, and then fills and seals the tooth. Dentist Dr. Lauren Shanard may recommend a root canal to Williston, VT patients because it treats the infection and keeps the decay from spreading to other teeth (and creating larger problems).
If you suspect you could benefit from root canal therapy, we understand if you might have reservations about having this procedure. Though root canals are a common dental treatment, patients often put off going to the dentist to address tooth pain because of dental anxiety. Dr. Shanard and her staff will do their very best to make sure you are at ease and comfortable, but we also provide several methods of sedation for any fear and anxiety. Call Contemporary Dental Arts to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shanard for more information on root canal therapy and sedation methods.
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An infection that reaches the pulp of your tooth can be the result of a deep crack or cavity in the tooth or a physical injury. Some of the most common signs that you may have an infected tooth are tooth pain, jaw pain, swollen and discolored gums, and discoloration of the affected tooth. If the infected pulp is not removed, it will become increasingly painful as the infection spreads to other parts of your mouth. Set up an appointment at Contemporary Dental Arts as soon as you feel or see any changes in your mouth. If you have fears or anxieties about going to the dentist, don't hesitate to ask us about sedation dentistry to help you remain calm and at ease during your exam and treatment.
What To Expect
Prior to the treatment, your anesthetic/sedation options will be discussed with Dr. Shanard. We do not want you to feel fearful, anxious or on-edge during your appointment. Many individuals request nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral-conscious sedation to get them through a root canal. Dr. Shanard is very understanding about dental anxieties, and will try to help you make the appropriate decision on how to proceed.
To perform an endodontic procedure, Dr. Shanard will examine the innermost part of your tooth and then carefully remove the infected pulp. From there, the inner chamber will be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate any lingering debris. Once it is cleaned, the tooth is filled with a dental filler to seal and protect it from further decay.
Based on the method of sedation that was chosen, you might need to have an adult drive you home following your procedure. You should expect your mouth to feel tender or swollen, but this should not last more than a few days and can be reduced with anti-inflammatory medications. You should schedule a follow-up appointment for about six months post-procedure. Dr. Shanard will examine the area to see that the infection is gone and that there is no cause for concern. Afterward, you should continue to schedule yearly dental checkups and twice-yearly dental cleanings to maintain your oral health.
During your consultation, Dr. Shanard will go over cost estimates to align your treatments with your health needs and your budget. If you have dental insurance, we will contact your provider to figure out your benefits. If you do not have dental insurance, Contemporary Dental Arts takes many payment methods and we can assist you in finding medical financing options.
Root Canal Therapy
Due to advances in medical techniques and technology, a root canal can be a quick, simple process to treat an infected tooth. In conjunction with your choice of sedation, your root canal at Contemporary Dental Arts can be free from discomfort to avoid further tooth pain and more serious complications. Call our office in Williston, VT to schedule a consult with dentist Dr. Shanard to learn more about root canal therapy and to improve your dental health.