Emergency Dental Care in Thornton, CO
Dental emergencies have a way of occurring outside of normal business hours, which is why it’s important to have a dentist who offers emergency services. Dental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Many occur during the course of sporting events or other athletic endeavors when a tooth gets knocked out, while others take place in the form of terrible toothaches and abscesses that require immediate attention — and sometimes, these require procedures such as emergency root canals. Here’s what you need to know about emergency root canals in Thornton, CO.
Why Are Root Canals Necessary?
Root canals become necessary when the interior pulp of the tooth becomes infected. Infections typically occur as the result of advanced tooth decay, but they can also happen in teeth where the surface has been cracked and bacteria has found its way inside the tooth. No matter what the reason, infections of this type have the potential to destroy the tooth completely if left untreated, and in severe cases, the infections may get into the bloodstream and become systemic.
Emergency root canals occur when the pain caused by the infection becomes so great that the patient seeks immediate treatment. Inflamed dental tissues are very painful, and in advanced cases, abscesses may be part of the picture as well. Unfortunately, many people wait to seek dental treatment until they’re experiencing a level of pain that can no longer be comfortably ignored.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
The root canal procedure is to remove the infected and inflamed tissue from the interior of the tooth. After the tissue is removed, your dentist will thoroughly clean the area before sealing it up to keep it safe from further bacterial infection. This is usually done under local anesthesia unless extenuating circumstances exist. Most patients report that the procedure itself is relatively painless, but there will likely be a certain amount of pain and discomfort after the anesthesia wears off. For this reason, you should have a supply of ice at home to use in an ice bag to help ease the pain. Your dentist may also recommend certain over-the-counter pain killers to help take the edge off pain or discomfort.
In some cases, your dentist may recommend a prescription pain killer. If you decide to go this route, bear in mind that prescription pain killers may cause significant drowsiness or otherwise make it unwise for you to operate a motor vehicle, so it may be best to do whatever shopping is necessary for your recovery period prior to taking any prescribed medication.
How to Know if You Need an Emergency Root Canal?
Only your dentist can tell you whether an emergency root canal is necessary, but you may need one if you’re experiencing a substantial amount of pain that cannot be lessened by the usual over-the-counter or topical remedies. Another indication that an emergency root canal may be in order is the presence of fever. You also might notice that the affected tooth or teeth are discolored. Those who suspect they may need an emergency root canal should contact their dentist immediately. Even if you don’t need an emergency root canal, your dentist will be able to determine the cause of your tooth pain and recommend treatment.
Can Emergency Root Canals Be Prevented?
Emergency root canals are performed because tooth decay has become so far advanced that it has progressed from the enamel to the interior of the tooth. Fortunately, most dental issues are preventable. Strategies for minimizing the need for an emergency root canal include practicing proper oral hygiene at home so that tooth decay doesn’t gain a foothold on your teeth and seeing your dentist for an oral examination on a regular basis. Be sure to brush thoroughly for at least two minutes twice per day using a soft-bristled brush. Flossing twice per day is also recommended, and you should follow it up with an antibacterial mouthwash. Avoid hard candy and other sticky foods, and consider drinking beverages through a straw so that the liquid only comes in minimal contact with your teeth. Oral irrigation systems designed for home use may also be instrumental in eliminating the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Unless the patient has specialized dental health needs, most dentists recommend scheduling an appointment for an examination and cleaning every six months. A thorough examination will identify any developing issues such as tooth decay so they can be treated before they do too much damage to your teeth. Keep in mind that when they’re in the early stages, most dental issues aren’t noticeable to the untrained eye, but your dentist can spot them and prescribe a course of treatment designed to slow Also, a thorough professional teeth cleaning session removed plaque buildup that regular brushing and flossing can’t remove.
Please feel free to call our office in Thornton, CO, if you have questions about root canal procedures or to schedule an appointment.