A serious toothache, grayish discoloration in your tooth, and extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures are all signs of an infected tooth. With root canal therapy from Dr. Khanani, you can restore and preserve an infected tooth and get back to your day-to-day life. Call us today if you notice symptoms of infection and we will gladly help you get out of pain and back to smiling again!
Tooth infections can be caused by decay or oral injuries that damage your enamel & dentin
Root canal therapy is the best way to remove the source of infection and restore your tooth
Our dentist in Holden, MA has years of experience performing successful root canals, and he can treat both anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth
Root canals are necessary whenever a tooth has become infected. A tooth infection occurs when the outer layers of enamel and dentin that surround your tooth are damaged, and the vulnerable “pulp” inside is exposed to bacteria. Most commonly, this happens due to extensive, untreated tooth decay. However, oral injuries can also crack or break the outer layers of a tooth.
Without root canal treatment, the tooth will continue to become more and more painful, and if left untreated for a long period of time, your tooth will eventually require extraction and replacement. With a root canal, you can remove the source of your infection and save your tooth.
A root canal can be performed in just a single appointment, which is usually about 1-2 hours in length. First, Dr. Khanani will clean your mouth and numb the treatment area. We also offer sedation at our office, if you feel it will make you more comfortable. Next, he will isolate your infected tooth with a dental dam.
Then, Dr. Khanani will use specialized tools to remove any damaged and decayed enamel. The decayed inner pulp of your tooth will also be extracted. Next, the inside of your tooth will be flushed with disinfectant to remove any remaining bacteria or infected material. After this, an inert rubbery substance will be used to fill up the interior of your tooth. Finally, Dr. Khanani will restore your tooth with a filling or a dental crown to complete the procedure.
The initial recovery process usually takes only a few days. You may experience some pain and discomfort near the treatment site, and you will want to avoid chewing hard foods with the tooth for a few days. Continue brushing and flossing normally, but take care to be gentle around the treatment site. You should feel completely recovered within about a week. If you are still experiencing pain or discomfort after a week, follow up with Dr. Khanani.
While there are alternatives to root canal treatment, it’s important to take your dentist’s suggestion to get a root canal seriously. Root canals are highly effective procedures with a 95% success rate that can be your last opportunity to salvage a tooth.
Certain alternatives like pulpotomies and direct pulp capping can be performed in certain cases. However, a pulpotomy is used strictly to treat deciduous teeth. It is different from a pulpectomy that is performed in a root canal because only part of the tooth’s pulp is removed - specifically, the pulp inside the crown. The tooth’s nerves and canals are left intact.
Direct pulp capping is used in cases where the tooth’s pulp is exposed. A substance, such as calcium hydroxide, will be applied to the pulp to help regenerate the tissue and protect it from bacteria. This treatment has its limitations because it is most effective in dental pulp that is only minimally exposed and not decayed or inflamed.
In most cases, the only other option you will be given if you do not go through with a root canal is to have the tooth extracted. However, extracting a tooth comes with many consequences that are better off avoided. Financially, the procedures end up costing around the same amount because you will need to have the tooth replaced.
If you do not replace a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth will shift and lean into the vacant space. This leads to crooked and overcrowded teeth, changes in your bite and facial structure, and premature facial sagging. It may also be more difficult to eat and speak clearly without a tooth.
To avoid the need for root canal treatment in the future, you need to take good care of your teeth by practicing good oral hygiene habits. This reduces your risk of developing cavities and tooth decay that lead to damaged and infected dental pulp that root canals treat. To reduce your risk of needing a root canal, you should:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Visit the dentist for a cleaning & exam every 6 months
- Floss at least once a day
- Remember to brush your tongue
- Drink lots of water
- Reduce frequent snacking
- Limit your consumption of sugar, carbohydrates, and acidic foods/drinks
- Get a fluoride treatment & dental sealants to protect against cavities
- Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth
- Don’t chew on ice, objects, or very hard foods
No, to the contrary, root canal treatments relieve pain. When a patient has an infected tooth, this causes swelling, inflammation, and an abscess that can cause severe pain and tooth sensitivity. The problem is the presence of the damaged pulp. When a tooth becomes infected, taking oral antibiotics is not sufficient to get rid of the infection. The pulp needs to be physically removed to get relief from the pain.
When we make an access hole into the tooth and scrape out the tooth’s pulp, we numb your mouth with a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain. While there may be minor discomfort or tenderness in the next few days once the numbing agent wears off, it should be mild and manageable with pain relief medication.
I want to change the perception of dentistry by building relationships based on trust.
– Dr. Khanani
So happy that Dr. Waterfall chose Dr. Khanani to take over the practice when he retired. Dr. Khanani is a top-notch dentist with an old world bedside manner. He always shows the utmost concern for a patient’s comfort and called me in the evening after getting a crown put in last winter and after an emergency visit recently to repair a broken tooth I would highly recommend Dr. Khanani and his friendly and caring staff. If you are looking for a new dentist you won’t find a better one in the area!
"Dr. Khanani recently fixed a cavity for me and the whole experience was a breeze. Upon completing the work Dr. Khanani insisted that I call if I have any questions or concerns. He even followed up with a phone call and text message that evening to make sure that I was pain free. I can tell that Dr. Khanani is very passionate about his work and I would highly recommend Khanani Family Dental."