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Root Canal

Why Does My Tooth Hurt After a Root Canal?

A common question we usually encounter after a root canal is, “Why does my tooth hurt after a root canal?” Pain after Root Canal

Why Does My Tooth Hurt After a Root Canal?

It is normal to experience some pain for a few days after a root canal. The tooth itself cannot "hurt", but the surrounding tissue can. Here are some reasons why your tooth may hurt after a root canal:

  1. Nerve fibers associated with ligaments surrounding the bone around the tooth still receive stimulation. This causes pain. Remember that a completed successful root canal has no pulp inside a tooth anymore – so no nerve endings or source of potential bacteria is present.
  2. Inflammation of the periapical tissues. This maybe due to over instrumentation during the procedure but usually resolves itself given enough time,
  3. A high bite. If a patient bites down, with no food in their mouth and their root canaled tooth hurts, then the bite should be adjusted. A dentist can easily correct this.
  4. Reinfection or a root fracture. If a root canal is completed, but an infection still is present around the periapical area (concentration of fluid at the tip of the root) then a retreatment may be indicated especially if significant time has gone by without a resolution of the infection. Sometimes an infection can be caused by a fracture of the tooth in question and in that case the tooth may require extraction.
  5. Phantom pain. It is also possible that pain is due to a sensitization of a nerve ganglion. Some of these patients can have pain even after the offending tooth is removed.

Should I talk to a dentist if I still feel tooth pain after a root canal?

If you are still experiencing a toothache or pain for longer than a few days, you should contact your dentist right away. You should also let your dentist know if you are feeling pressure around your tooth or in your jaw.

Root Canals: Exploring Alternatives

Sometimes a root canal is the only way to save a tooth. At Indianapolis Dentistry Clinic, Dr. Reese exhausts every possible means to save a tooth naturally, even having root canal alternative options through biomimetic dentistry. Dr. Reese strives to conserve the tooth structure with biocompatible materials and techniques that mimic what nature intended. This could help avoid procedures like root canals and the loss of dental tissue. These are all in part of his clinic’s goal of practicing biocompatible dentistry – helping you reach your wellness goals through optimum dental health.

Indianapolis Dentistry is located just north of Greenwood, Indiana in Southport, just five minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37. Call 317-882-0228 for an appointment now!

Root Canal Procedure Explained

A root canal procedure is also called an endodontic treatment. “Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” means “tooth”. An endodontic treatment literally means “inside tooth” treatment. Ever wondered how a root canal treatment works? You're not alone. We get a lot of questions about what goes on a root canal procedure, but for you to understand what goes on in a root canal procedure, you need to understand certain parts of the tooth. Root Canal ProcedureInside the tooth, under the enamel (the white part or crown of the tooth that is visible and above the gum line) and a hard layer (dentin) is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp has all the blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue and extends from the crown to the tip of the roots where it connects to tissue surrounding the root. The pulp is very important during the growth and development of teeth. Once teeth are grown and fully mature, it can survive without the pulp because they get nourishment from the tissues surrounding them.

A Root Canal Procedure Saves the Tooth

A root canal procedure is needed when the pulp gets infected. It can be because of deep decay, cracks in the crown or repeated dental procedures. Once it's determined the infection is inside the tooth and the pulp is involved, the dentist will try to save the tooth by doing a root canal procedure. Instead of extracting the tooth and give you a long-term problem of gaps between teeth and tooth replacements, he will drain the tooth of the infected pulp and then fills the emptied space with biocompatible materials and seals it again. He will then restore the tooth with a crown to protect it.

Root Canal Procedure Explained

The following procedure is from the American Association of Endodontists’ web site. You can also watch a video explaining how it is done.

Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:

  1. The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, the endodontist places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
  2. The endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
  3. After the space is cleaned and shaped, the endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
  4. After the final visit with your endodontist, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

Indianapolis Dentistry Clinic is an Oral Surgery Center

Indianapolis Dentistry, led by Dr. Ted Reese, offers not only traditional oral surgery procedures, tooth extractions, and surgical removal of wisdom teeth, but also offers oral and dental surgery not offered in most oral surgery clinics. Dr. Reese’s over 25 years of experience will provide you with as uneventful a surgical experience as possible.

From correct diagnosis of your tooth problem to corresponding treatment, Dr. Reese will help you preserve your teeth and recommend the best treatment option for you. Whether you need endodontic surgery or tooth extractionDr. Reese and his qualified and able staff will keep you as comfortable as possible. Call 317-882-0228 for an appointment.

Root Canal Alternatives

When bacteria have invaded the inside of a tooth, a root canal might be the only way to save the tooth. At Indianapolis Dentistry, Dr. Reese will, whenever possible, try to avoid doing the procedure using root canal alternatives. Root Canal AlternativesUsing the advanced tools and biocompatible materials of biomimetic dentistry, root canals may be avoided. Root canals are one of the most invasive dental procedures and so it's no wonder that biomimetic dentists like Dr. Reese are always on the lookout for how they can save more of the original tooth when they can.

Root Canal Alternatives: What Dr. Ted Reese Does

Being an Indianapolis holistic dentist, Dr. Reese practices integrated dentistry. This means he treats dental problems with consideration on its effect on overall health. He also believes in exploring all options to make teeth restorations as close to nature as possible, meaning, he wants to build up teeth, not grind them down.

When using biomimetic techniques, Dr. Reese basically does the procedure of a root canal therapy, but he uses a tool called Diagnodent, a laser flouresence device that can measure levels of bacteria in different areas in the tooth that allows for less drilling. Once decay has been removed, he can apply ozone gas directly to the tooth to kill any remaining bacteria.

After bacteria is removed, the tooth is restored to its proper function by using biocompatible composites and onlays. These materials seal up the tooth to prevent bacteria from re-entering the tooth and cause more problems in the future.

Whenever possible Dr. Reese will avoid capping the treated tooth with crowns. This is because crowns may crack and bacteria can re-enter and re-infect the tooth. This way repairing teeth will be easier and more economical in the long-run.

How Does This Differ From Root Canal Therapy?

Biomimetic techniques prioritize the function of the tooth rather than the strength of the restoration (crown). With traditional dentistry we had to destroy healthy tooth structure in order to retain a new restoration. In other words, we had to destroy in order to create. Now we are able to bond or glue teeth back together and even add missing parts of the tooth reliably without removing volumes of precious tooth structure. It has the added value of sealing the tooth from bacterial infection.

Root Canal Alternative: Biomimetic Dentistry

Biomimetic dentistry, a type of tooth-conserving dentistry, treats weak, fractured, and decayed teeth in a way that keeps them strong and seals them from bacterial invasion. In dental practices around the world, Biomimetic Dentistry has practically eliminated cutting teeth down for crowns and destructive root canal treatment. Patients are happier and often spend less compared to conventional treatment.

You Have an Alternative

Dr. Reese practices biomimetic dentistry techniques like air abrasion technology and using biomimetic sealants. Dr. Reese strives to conserve the tooth structure with biocompatible materials and techniques that mimic what nature intended. This could help avoid procedures like root canals and the loss of dental tissue. These are all in part of his clinic’s goal of practicing biocompatible dentistry – helping you reach your wellness goals through optimum dental health.

Indianapolis Dentistry is located just north of Greenwood, Indiana in Southport, just five minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37. Call 317-882-0228 for an appointment now!

Affordable Root Canals in Indianapolis

Affordable root canals in Indianapolis can be attainable with our clinic. Here at Indianapolis Dentistry, we are proud of our service and focus on our patient’s well being to provide beautiful, natural smiles with lasting tooth replacements and repairs. We really mean when we say you can have less visits, more care. You will be provided thorough care in an efficient manner that minimizes your visits, time away from work or home, and minimal interruption to your schedule.

When would I need a root canal?

Dr. Reese will ensure that all means possible are exhausted to save your natural teeth. There are several instances when teeth may be good candidates for root canal work: teeth that are severely decayed, accidentally injured, cracked, or chipped. 

Why would I opt for a root canal instead of a tooth extraction?

A root canal is less expensive than an implant, but more costly than an extraction. When you have a tooth extracted, it should be replaced be either an implant or a denture – missing teeth have a potential to create more dental problems in the future. A root canal saves your natural tooth and preserves both your smile and your bite.

Affordable Root Canals in Indianapolis
Affordable Root Canals in Indianapolis

Is a root canal painful?

The procedure has a reputation for being painful, but the truth is, in the hands of a skilled dentist like Dr. Reese, a root canal is virtually painless.

This is a relatively simple procedure and can be performed in one to three visits. Dr. Reese will use local anesthetic and sedation techniques to minimize discomfort and ensure that this is a pain-free procedure.

A common question is what happens during a root canal therapy.

After the tooth is numbed, a small opening is made into the tooth where the insides are cleansed and shaped. A rubber-like material called gutta-percha is filled into the tooth and the opening is then sealed with sterile cotton pellets and a temporary filling. After a couple of weeks, the tooth is typically restored and a crown is placed over the treated tooth for protection. If the tooth lacks sufficient structure, a dental post may be placed inside.

There are instances where a second root canal maybe necessary because of infection but our clinic recognizes your concerns, whether it be financial or psychological (if you are scared of another procedure). Dr. Reese or anyone in our staff can help explain what you need to know. There also various payment options and you can apply for care credit financing. It is so easy you can apply over the phone!

We extend our invitation to you

Experience the difference with a gentle, experienced doctor and staff who are concerned with your comfort and quality of care. Call (317) 882-0228 to make an appointment at our Indianapolis dental office, located just north of Greenwood, Indiana on US 31 in Southport.

Biomimetic Dentistry is the Holistic Choice

As the world realizes the importance of holistic health and shifts its focus towards dental health promotion and prevention, dental treatments become more patient-oriented with minimally invasive procedures. This approach is called biomimetic dentistry. While not a dental specialization, biomimetic dentistry is practiced by Dr. Reese as part of the integrated dentistry approach his clinic practices. This is in view of biomimetic dentistry as a holistic choice – a dentistry that restores teeth to as close as they were naturally.

Biomimetic Dentistry is the Holistic Choice

Biomimetic dentistry restores a tooth conservatively with materials and techniques that mimic what nature intended, avoiding root canal and loss of teeth issues.

According to AvoidRootCanal.org, a web site belonging to dentists dedicated to prevention, practicing biomimetic dentistry means that instead of grinding down teeth, dentists build up natural teeth layer by layer:

  • We have the training, the technology, the materials and most importantly the commitment to save tooth structure and stop the dental cycle: after removing all diseased and broken tooth structure.  Biomimetic Dentistry is the Holistic Choice
  • We save good healthy teeth — we don’t grind down the tooth.
  • With a restoration design based on sound engineering principles to absorb and distribute stress through the tooth as in nature. With the least possible treatment to save tooth structure…more of the tooth is left intact.
  • While rebuilding the tooth strong — building the tooth up, not grinding it down — to prevent future breakage.
  • With Biomimetic dentistry the goal is to eliminate the use of crowns or caps.

Biomimetic Dentistry Can Prevent the Need for Root Canal Treatment

Yes – this sounds too good to be true but biomimetic dentistry takes on a different approach when it comes to very large cavities that are too deep already.

Biomimetics, just the term itself, is basically studying the structure and function of a biological system, in this case a tooth, and using it as a model to design or engineer the materials that you would use to replace missing or diseased tooth structure.

During a root canal procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp, which is the soft, center area of the tooth, is removed. After the inside of the tooth has been cleaned and disinfected, it is filled and sealed with rubbery material known as gutta percha. In the last stage, a crown is usually placed on the tooth for protection.

When a dentist uses biomimetic techniques, what happens is that the dentist also carefully removes and cleans decay up until it reaches the nerve of the tooth – and then he stops. In a way, a little bit of decay is left and as long as the patient is asymptomatic (there is no pain), the nerve is sealed.

The main difference between biomimetic techniques and a usual root canal procedure is that the dentist doesn’t kill the nerve of the tooth – making the tooth viable and “living” as opposed to killing the nerve of the tooth, in effect “killing” blood supply to the area necessitating for a crown. This is why crowns are needed – a tooth without blood supply essentially becomes brittle and would need protection.

Patients would usually ask “Isn’t it dangerous to leave a bit of decay in my tooth?” The answer would be no, as long as the decay is sealed off from the nerve where there is blood supply, it would not have access to blood to reproduce bacteria, thrive and breed more decay.

Biomimetic Dentistry is the Most Tooth Friendly Choice

Since biomimetic dentistry ensures that dentists keep teeth as natural as possible, it helps restore the tooth to its most natural state instead of breaking it down even further to build a new structure. Biomimetic techniques are often considered a modern and more cost-effective approach to patient-oriented dentistry that prioritizes the function of the tooth, rather than the strength of the restoration. “The whole goal is to make the tooth look like a tooth again, and not only look like a tooth, but to function and act like a tooth. That’s really the key difference.”

Dr. Reese practices biomimetic dentistry techniques like air abrasion technology and using biomimetic sealants. Dr. Reese strives to conserve the tooth structure with biocompatible materials and techniques that mimic what nature intended. This could help avoid procedures like root canals and the loss of dental tissue. These are all in part of his clinic’s goal of practicing biocompatible dentistry – helping you reach your wellness goals through optimum dental health.

Indianapolis Dentistry is located just north of Greenwood, Indiana in Southport, just five minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37. Call 317-882-0228 for an appointment now!