Root Canal Therapy
in Woburn

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy, often just called a “root canal” for short, is a procedure used to clean and restore an infected tooth. This treatment eliminates the infection, restores the tooth, and protects it for years to come. With a root canal in Woburn, you can get rid of your painful toothache and preserve your tooth for years to come. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and get the help you need in Woburn right away.

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Did you know…

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Cavities usually don’t hurt. If your tooth hurts, it’s likely that you have an infected tooth, and you need to get root canal therapy to save it. Don’t wait. Contact Woburn Dental Associates right away to get the care you need.

Ready to schedule your consult?

Call (781) 933-0422

What To Expect From Root Canal Therapy

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Comprehensive exam

To begin, your dentist at Woburn Dental Associates will perform a comprehensive exam to identify the extent of the decay in your tooth, put together a treatment plan, and ensure a root canal is right for you.

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Preparing & opening the tooth

At your next appointment, your dentist will begin by numbing the treatment area. Then, they will clean up the tooth and create an opening in the tooth with a dental drill to access the pulp inside your tooth.

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Cleaning & disinfecting the tooth

Once the tooth is opened up, your dentist will use special tools to clean out damaged and decayed pulp and nerve material, then the tooth will be flushed, and disinfected to eliminate any remaining bacteria.

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Restoring the tooth

As the final step, your tooth will be filled with an inert material to keep it strong, and covered up with a filling or temporary resin crown. If you need a crown, you’ll need to come back to our office in 1-2 weeks to be fitted for a permanent porcelain crown.

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Does It Hurt To Get Root Canal Therapy?

No. Despite what popular culture may have you think, the process is not painful at all. Your mouth will be numb to keep you comfortable.

Your tooth may be a bit sore for a few days after treatment, since the process of cleaning out the tooth can irritate the gums and nerves near the base of the tooth. But this will fade quickly, and is much less painful than a toothache caused by an infected tooth.

What Happens If I Need Root Canal Retreatment?

If your tooth continues to hurt for 1-2 weeks after your appointment and your symptoms get worse, your dentist may not have been able to completely remove the infection in a single appointment. You’ll need root canal retreatment.

This procedure is pretty much identical to the initial root canal treatment. Additional x-rays may be taken to look for hidden structures in the teeth that may be hiding bacteria. Then, your tooth will be opened back up, and your dentist will clean it out again to eliminate any remaining bacteria. Your tooth will then be covered and sealed again to protect it.

Did you know…

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Teeth can be brightened up to 10  shades in a single in-office teeth whitening session. It’s also the most popular cosmetic dental treatment.

Interested in cosmetic services?

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Have questions about Root Canal Therapy? Find answers here.

are there alternatives to root canal therapy?

A root canal involves a pulpectomy but an alternative would be a pulpotomy procedure, which is usually performed on baby teeth. A pulpotomy involves only partially removing the pulp from the tooth and leaving the root of the tooth intact. 

Another alternative is known as pulp capping, in which the entrance to the pulp is sealed off to prevent it from being exposed. However, this is only viable when the decay has not yet reached the tooth’s pulp.

These previously mentioned alternatives to root canal treatment are usually not viable in most cases. The most common alternative to root canal therapy is to have the tooth extracted. However, this is not recommended, especially if you don’t have the means to replace the tooth. Since root canals are 95% effective, they’re an excellent dental procedure used to salvage a tooth and save it from needing to be extracted. 

However, if you wait too long and the decay becomes extensive or the infection spreads the option for a root canal will be taken off the table entirely. An extraction will lead to bone loss, shifting teeth, and changes in your facial structure if you don’t replace the tooth.

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what happens if I don't get treated?

Delaying or avoiding root canal treatment completely is a bad idea. If you’re not interested in going through with the root canal treatment, then you will need to have the tooth extracted right away. 

Leaving the affected tooth completely untreated will lead to a host of unpleasant consequences including an infection that spreads through the body, the possibility of the nerves in the tooth dying, increased pain, or worsening decay that leaves you no choice but to have the tooth extracted. 

Teeth with damaged or infected pulp cannot heal on their own, even if it seems like the pain has stopped. This doesn’t mean the infection is no longer there. The only way to get rid of the infection completely is to remove the damaged pulp from the tooth. 

When pain suddenly dissipates, it suggests that the tooth has completely died and you will be less able to understand what is happening inside. Leaving an infection untreated can be extremely dangerous. 

The infection can spread to your bloodstream and the rest of your body, including your brain. In rare cases, it can lead to sepsis, which can be deadly. Don’t delay treatment. Listen to the advice of your dentist and consider a root canal to save the tooth or extraction to have the tooth removed.

what is aftercare like?

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Root canal aftercare is pretty simple. There aren’t many specific maintenance or cleaning protocols, or things you’ll need to avoid, unlike extraction aftercare. Since we administer local anesthesia to numb the mouth for a root canal procedure, you will be numb for several hours. We recommend that you avoid eating or drinking hot liquids until the anesthetic has completely worn off so you don’t accidentally bite or burn yourself.

When you’re ready to eat, it’s a good idea to stick to softer foods in the first 24 hours, avoid hot foods and drinks, and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. You can brush and floss your teeth like normal but be careful around the tooth that has received the root canal.

You may also experience some mild pain, tenderness, or sensitivity in the next few days which can be relieved with anti-inflammatory pain medication such as ibuprofen. Don’t floss where the temporary filling was placed and remember to return to Woburn Dental Associates to receive a permanent filling or crown.

Did you know…

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Cosmetic treatments and restorative dentistry are often used in combination to transform patients’ smiles.

Ready for a new smile?

Call (781) 933-0422