Wilmington, DE Root Canals

Root Canals in Wilmington, DE

Painful toothaches caused by infection can be detrimental to your overall health and keep you from enjoying your daily life. If one of your teeth has been damaged in an accident or has become infected as the result of an untreated cavity, Dr. Fee offers root canal therapy in Wilmington to get patients out of pain and back to optimal health.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal therapy is a treatment that can save and preserve a tooth that has become infected. If the outer layers of your teeth (enamel and dentin) are damaged or cracked, this exposes the “pulp” inside your tooth to oral bacteria, often leading to infection. A root canal is used to open up the damaged tooth, remove the infected material, and protect your tooth’s structure from further harm.

The Symptoms Of An Infected Tooth

The most common symptom of an infected is a serious, prolonged toothache that lasts several days or longer. A few other symptoms you should look out for include:

  • Swelling or discoloration around the tooth
  • Sensitivity when biting, chewing, or applying pressure to your tooth
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling in your face and cheek

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Fee right away to make sure you get the help you need to save your tooth.

What is the Root Canal Process Like?

First, your mouth will be cleaned and numbed, and your tooth will be isolated with a dental dam. Then, the damaged or decayed enamel is removed, and a small opening is made on the top of the tooth. Next, Dr. Fee will use specialized tools to remove all of the decayed and infected pulp from your tooth.

After this, your tooth will be disinfected and the empty space will be filled with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material that replaces your pulp and helps support the structure of your tooth. To complete the process, your tooth will be restored with a temporary filling or crown. You’ll come in after a few weeks to have a permanent crown placed.

Root Canal Myths

Myth: A good alternative to root canal treatment is to extract the tooth

To the contrary, saving your natural teeth is almost always the best option. Simply put, nothing is quite as good as the real thing. Keeping your natural teeth helps you chew efficiently and maintain the natural appearance of your smile. If an extraction is recommended, you should ask whether a root canal can save your tooth.

Endodontic treatment (root canal), along with the appropriate restorative work, is a cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp, and, notably, is significantly less expensive than an extraction coupled with either an implant or a dental bridge. Root canals also enjoy a very high success rate. While the statistics differ depending on which resource is consulted, root canals have over a 90% success rate, and if successful, can last the rest of your life in some cases. Through endodontic treatment at Delaware Dental Studio, dentists like Dr. Lynn Fee, are helping patients from Wilmington keep their natural teeth.

Myth: Root canal treatment is painful

Possibly one of the oldest and most well-known myths, root canal treatment is not usually painful. In fact, it relieves pain. The genesis of this myth likely stems from antiquated root canal practices, including ineffectual anesthetics. According to the American Association of Endodontists, the perception that root canal therapy is painful stems from early treatment methods used to perform the procedure. Today, with modern technology and anesthetics, a root canal is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed.

At Delaware Dental Studio, we intimately understand that even mentioning a root canal may make patients uneasy. But we want to reassure you that root canal treatments are common procedures that Dr. Lynn Fee routinely performs without the patient experiencing pain. Our team will work to make each appointment as comfortable as possible for you.

Myth: Root canal treatment causes illness

Patients searching the Internet may find websites alleging that root canals (endodontic) treatment contributes to illness and disease. There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body.

When root canal treatment becomes necessary – when there is a severe infection in a tooth requiring endodontic treatment – the treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal and prevent further reinfection. According to the American Association of Endodontics, “there is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. There is no causality between root canals and cancer; just because a person has experienced both doesn’t mean a cause-and-effect relationship exists.” And in 2013, a study published in a journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery) found that a patient’s risk of cancer doesn’t change after having a root canal treatment; in fact, patients with multiple endodontic treatments had a 45% reduced risk of cancer.

Myth: Completing a Root Canal Requires Several Appointments

At Delaware Dental Studio, Dr. Lynn Fee’s root canal treatment is typically completed in one appointment. Factors that may influence the number of appointments include, among other things, the extent of the infection, the difficulty of the root canal, whether a referral to an endodontist (root canal specialist), becomes necessary, and whether restorative work (such as a crown) is necessary to ensure the tooth remains durable and functional.

Myth: You Need To Be In Pain Before A Root Canal Is Necessary

Many patients see their Wilmington dentist or endodontist when they have a severe toothache. The toothache can be caused by damaged tissues in the tooth. Root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving your pain. While the symptoms indicating you need a root canal often include tooth pain, that is not always the case. Your tooth may already be dead (and thus, no pain), but nonetheless require root canal therapy to remove the infection. We thoroughly examine each of our Wilmington patients during their regular check-ups, and at these appointments Dr. Lynn Fee will assess whether your tooth may need an endodontic treatment. Some of the tests and questions she may ask include temperature testing and percussion testing.

Get the Care You Need From Our Experienced Team

If you believe you may have an infected tooth, it’s important to get help from Delaware Dental Studio right away. The sooner you schedule your visit, the sooner you can get relief from your pain and discomfort and save your tooth. To get started, just give us a call at (302) 475-0600, or visit our office in person at 2500 Grubb Rd, Suite 130, Wilmington, DE 19810.

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