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How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?
The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the canal (a channel inside of the root), then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you will return to your general dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Does endodontic treatment hurt?
With the use of anesthetics, root canal treatment involves little or no pain during treatment. Often there is pain prior to treatment, and endodontic treatment can relieve that pain.
Will there be pain after treatment, when I leave the office?
Cleaning, shaping and filling the root canal system causes inflammation. It is common to experience minor soreness in the area for a few days after treatment.
Are there any alternatives to root canal therapy?
Extraction is always an alternative. Replacing a natural tooth with an artificial one can require dental procedures on healthy adjacent teeth and is more costly. Dental implants are also an option if extraction is the treatment of choice.
What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?
We’re all at risk for having a tooth knocked out. More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year! If we know how to handle this emergency situation, we may be able to actually save the tooth. Teeth that are knocked out may be possibly reimplanted if we act quickly, yet calmly, and follow these simple steps:
Locate the tooth and handle it only by the crown (chewing part of the tooth), NOT by the roots.
DO NOT scrub or use soap or chemicals to clean the tooth. If it has dirt or debris on it, rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk. If that is not possible, rinse it very gently with water.
Get to a dentist within 30 minutes. The longer you wait, the less chance there is for successful reimplantation.
Ways to transport the tooth
Try to replace the tooth back in its socket immediately. Gently bite down on gauze, a wet tea bag or on your own teeth to keep the tooth in place. Apply a cold compress to the mouth for pain and swelling as needed.
If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, place the tooth in a container and cover with a small amount of your saliva or whole milk. You can also place the tooth under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums. Keep the tooth moist at all times. Do not transport the tooth in a tissue or cloth.
Consider buying a “Save-A-Tooth” storage container and keeping it as part of your home first aid kit. The kit is available in many pharmacies and contains a travel case and fluid solution for easy tooth transport.
The sooner the tooth is replaced back into the socket, the greater the likelihood it has to survive and possibly last for many years. So be prepared, and remember these simple steps for saving a knocked-out tooth.
You can prevent broken or knocked-out teeth by:
Wearing a mouthguard when playing sports
Always wearing your seatbelt
Avoid chewing hard items such as ice, popcorn kernels, hard breads, etc.