Root Canal Therapy

Root canals are one of the most misunderstood services that dentists provide. There is a widespread, incorrect belief that root canal treatments are painful. Not true!

Couple Smiling OutsideIn fact, you may need root canal therapy to relieve pain or toothaches. Tooth pain doesn’t happen because of root canals; it happens if you don’t get one when you really need it!

Infections inside of a tooth happen when tooth decay extends deep enough to reach the tooth pulp. If the decay-causing bacteria infect the pulp, then the pulp needs to be removed. If you do not have it removed, the infection will spread to the surrounding tissues, causing abscesses & other nasty conditions.

What Is A Root Canal?

Root canal therapy (endodontics) focuses on the inside of your tooth. Inside every tooth is a hollow space occupied by your tooth pulp, which helps teeth detect heat & cold, & is essentially what keeps a tooth “alive.” A tooth needs a root canal if your tooth pulp becomes infected or dies.

The signs & symptoms of a tooth that needs a root canal may include pain, abscesses & swelling. In many cases, there may be no obvious symptoms to you, which is why it is vital to see your dentist regularly. They are trained to spot recognize warning signs that you may not notice!

Traditional Bridge

The most common kind of dental bridge is called a traditional bridge. This is a pontic tooth attached to two dental crowns that will cover the adjacent teeth. In order to fit the crowns over the other teeth, the dentist needs to file them down. The crowns (sometimes called abutments) are placed over your reshaped teeth & secured with a composite bonding resin.

Cantilever Bridge

A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but the pontic only attaches to one abutment instead of two. Because it is only secured on one side, this bridge is mostly used for teeth in the very back of your mouth.

Maryland Bridge

The last kind of bridge is called a Maryland bridge. Instead of using crowns to secure the pontic, a Maryland bridge uses metal or porcelain bands that attach to nearby teeth with bonding resin. The main benefit of this method is that none of your teeth need to be filed down. The downside is that they are weaker than a traditional bridge & may not be suitable to replace molars, which put a lot more strain on the bridge when chewing.

Procedure Overview

Getting a dental bridge is more involved than your average checkup. If you’ve gotten a dental crown in the past, getting a bridge will be a pretty similar experience for you. It will take more than one appointment to prepare your teeth & place the bridge. If you need any dental work done on the supporting teeth, such as a filling or root canal, this must happen beforehand.

  • Once any necessary treatment is complete, the dentist will remove enamel from the supporting teeth to make room for the abutment crowns.
  • They will make a mold of the area & send it to a lab that will craft your own personalized bridge. This normally takes a few weeks.
  • While you wait for your custom restoration, you will be given a temporary bridge.
  • At the final appointment, the dentist will place your permanent bridge & make any necessary adjustments.

How long your bridge lasts depends on how well you take care of it. If properly cared for, a dental bridge can last well over 10 years. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, cleaning underneath the pontic, & coming in for regular teeth cleanings & maintenance will ensure the longest lifespan for your bridge.