Root Canal in Ottawa, ON
Endodontics is a specialty in dentistry dealing with the center of teeth. Not all dentists are qualified to treat issues with the pulp, which is why you might sometimes be referred to an endodontist. Here at Albert Street Dentistry, Ottawa, we have the expertise to care for the entirety of each tooth, including the pulp.
What Damages the Pulp and Center of a Tooth?
Teeth are exposed to potentially damaging chemicals and materials each day. Bacteria normally present as flora in oral cavities can sometimes become harmful if they start to grow without control. Chemicals we are exposed to in the things we eat and drink can also damage teeth. Certain foods like popcorn can mechanically hurt our teeth, making it easier for bacteria to find hiding spots in them.
Brushing and flossing teeth on a daily basis helps to combat all that, but sometimes harm occurs even if we do everything right. When the affected part of a tooth is its center or pulp, that is when an endodontist is needed.
How Do You Know if Your Pulp is Damaged?
There are three phases a person will experience when they have a damaged tooth. The first is when the damage is too minimal for them to experience any discomfort. As the damage and decay continue, you will start to notice pain and increased sensitivity to a food that is too hot or too cold. Additionally, there might be some pain when you chew on the affected tooth.
The third phase is when the center of your tooth, containing the nerve, starts to die. When the nerve dies, the pain goes away. This could give a false impression that the problem resolved on its own when it is actually getting worse. At Albert Street Dentistry, we aim to catch the problem in the first or second phase.
What to expect?
After examining your teeth, your dentist will most likely require that you get an x-ray. The x-ray should be able to confirm whether or not the center of your tooth is truly decaying and suffering. Treatment starts after the diagnosis is confirmed.
Treatment commonly involves removing the decay with special instruments and replacing the inside of the tooth with a filling. In very late cases where the tooth is no longer viable, it may need to be extracted entirely. Options to replace it can then be discussed.