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Daniel Berquist, DDSJoseph Ornelas, DDS

Root Canal Therapy in La Porte

Sometimes tooth decay or damage is so significant that something more than a filling is needed. A root canal restores the form and function of a severely damaged natural tooth. The procedure is often the last resort before extraction is necessary. Though they have the reputation of being painful, the treatment for modern root canals is unlikely to cause discomfort. Rather, it’s the pain leading up to the treatment that is significant. Region Dental Care provides root canal therapy for Northwest Indiana.

What Are The Signs I Need a Root Canal?

Root canal, also known as endodontic therapy, is used to treat severe decay, injury, or infection in a tooth’s root. If you are wondering whether or not you need root canal therapy, know that the number one sign you require endodontic therapy is a toothache. Do not hesitate to seek dental care from the first sign of an aching tooth.

Other signs you may need root canal therapy include sensitivity to heat and cold, swollen, red gums, and sometimes a pimple-like bump or sore on the gums below the affected tooth.

What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?

To restore the health of your tooth, your dentist will examine the extent of the damage with x-rays. Then, local anesthesia will be administered to ensure you feel no pain at the treatment site. Sedation is also available for patients who need additional help relaxing. An access hole is created to enter the tooth, and the infected pulp inside is removed. Then, the canals that have been opened to remove the pulp are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. The tooth is then sealed. A dental crown usually completes root canal therapy.

Why Should I Have Root Canal Therapy?

A damaged or decaying tooth will not get better on its own. No one wants to undergo treatment for root canal, but doing so often prevents the need for tooth extraction later on. Root canal therapy also stops the infection in its tracks, reducing the risk for abscess, if it has not already developed. Abscess is a pocket that forms on the end of the tooth’s root, an infection that can quickly spread to other areas of the body -- like the brain.

What Do I Do After My Root Canal?

Once your tooth has been saved with root canal therapy, it can last as long as your natural teeth with proper care. Make sure you are brushing your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist as recommended for optimal dental health.

Immediately following your root canal treatment, maintain a soft foods diet and take pain medication as directed to speed healing. You may experience the symptoms common of any oral surgery following your procedure, like swelling, sensitivity, and discomfort. If symptoms persist or worsen, contact your dentist. Sometimes additional or repeat treatment is necessary.

Are you in need of root canal therapy with Dr. Joseph Ornelas or Dr. Daniel Berquist? Call us today to schedule your appointment. We are happy to serve patients from Crown Point, Whiting, Merrillville, Cedar Lake, St. John and other communities in Northwest Indiana.