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Root Canal in Milwaukee, WI

What is a Root Canal?

There are many misconceptions about root canals and patients in Milwaukee, WI has it wrong that root canals are procedures that can be excruciatingly painful which is why patients put off having them until the time that their dental condition has worsened. A root canal procedure is effective in repairing and saving a tooth from extraction when it becomes infected due to deep decay, repeated dental treatments, cracks or chips, large tooth fillings, or trauma. The treatment involves removing the infected nerve and tooth pulp and sealing off the tooth to prevent any further damage.

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The pulp of the tooth contains the nerves within the root canal. These nerves are responsible for giving you a hot or cold sensation and the absence of this will not affect the normal function of your teeth once you get a root canal. It is important for patients to have this procedure done as soon as the dentist recommends it because if left untreated, the tissue surrounding the tooth may for an abscess and it may no longer be possible to save the tooth. An abscess is a pocket that is filled with pus that may extend up to the roots of the tooth. This may cause swelling in areas of the face, bone loss around the tooth root, as well as drainage problems which manifest as holes through the side of the tooth into the gums or the cheeks.

When is Root Canal needed?

It is difficult to identify right away that you have an infected tooth pulp unless you make a habit of going to the dentist for regular check-ups. Many mistake an infected tooth pulp for a toothache that will not go away and seek help from their dentist when the condition has already worsened. One telltale sign that you may need a root canal is experiencing a chronic toothache that becomes worse when you chew or apply pressure to the affected tooth. You may also feel a sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Upon inspection, you may notice that the affected tooth has become discolored, swelling or tenderness of the gums near the infected tooth, and appearance of persistent pimples on the gums. If you experience any of these, make sure to schedule a visit with our team in Milwaukee, WI to confirm if you will require a root canal procedure.

What are the benefits of having a Root Canal?

At Hampton Dental Associates, we think of root canals as tooth life preservers. Root canals are necessary when tooth decay has allowed bacteria to penetrate the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth and enter the pulp chamber and root canals beneath the chamber. At this point, the infection will only worsen, eventually leading to an abscess. If this happens, your infection can spread throughout your body.

Without a root canal, the tooth is destined for extraction. But when you have a root canal and Dr. Winters cleans out the entire interior of the tooth and fills it with gutta-percha, the tooth can survive the remainder of the patient’s life. People assume that without the nerves, blood vessels, and other material inside the tooth that it will fall out. That’s not the case. Teeth only need their blood supply when they are developing in our childhood years. Once a permanent tooth fully develops, it no longer needs a blood supply. That’s why a tooth with a root canal can remain a part of your smile and your bite for a long time.

It’s always preferable to keep a natural tooth, if possible, rather than having to replace it with a dental implant or a bridge.

What is the Root Canal procedure?

Root canal procedures rarely require a patient to come in several times before the entire procedure is completed. At Hampton Dental Associates 98% or more of all root canals are completed in one visit! As with any dental treatment, it is necessary for patients to get some dental tests like a dental X-ray to help their dentist determine the extent of the infection and for the team to develop a treatment plan that will best suit their condition.

Before starting the root canal procedure, your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the affected area. A rubber dam will also be placed to drain out the patient’s saliva to keep the area dry. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your dentist will drill a small hole into the tooth. This will be used to access the tooth pulp using dental files. Your dentist will clean out the entire cavity of the tooth, removing the pulp, the decayed nerve tissues, and any debris. The full length of the tooth cavity will be cleaned, making sure that no traces of the infected pulp are left to avoid further damage to the tooth.

The tooth cavity will be flushed with water or sodium hypochlorite to remove any remaining debris. The tooth will then be sealed after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Your dentist may also apply medication inside the tooth cavity to keep it sterile.

Your next appointment will involve preparing the tooth for a crown which will protect this investment and protect your tooth from fracture.

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How long does a Root Canal procedure take?

The average root canal with the team at Hampton Dental takes between 30 minutes and an hour. More complex situations could take up to 90 minutes. Usually, because we place a porcelain crown on the tooth receiving the root canal, the process takes two appointments: one to perform the root canal and a second to place the custom crown. If a smaller tooth, such as an incisor, is receiving a root canal we may be able to finish the procedure by simply placing a filling in the entry hole. This would make the entire process only a single appointment.

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What should I expect after my Root Canal?

After the root canal procedure, patients can expect their teeth to be sore for about 2-3 more days and will start to go down after that.

What will the results of my Root Canal look like?

Once we clean out the infected tooth, fill the interior with gutta-percha, and place a filling and/or crown on the tooth, no one will be able to tell any difference between this tooth and any others in your mouth. If we place a crown on the tooth, it will perfectly match the color of your adjacent teeth. If we only need to place a filling, we use composite resin and that makes for a basically invisible filling.

What foods can I eat after a Root Canal procedure?

There are restrictions after your root canal! NO gum chewing, caramel, taffy, raw carrots, or beef jerky!

You may have some mild soreness from having your mouth open during the procedure, but your diet will be fine if you don't overwork this tooth. Once a crown is placed, we will still caution you to avoid really sticky foods to preserve the crown but it will be much more protected.

Risks of Root Canal

As with any dental treatment, a root canal can have some complications even if your dentist has done a great job clearing the infected tooth of the infection. It is possible that the bacteria from the infected tooth can get carried onto the surrounding areas of the teeth through your gum’s blood supply system. If you feel any unusual pain after the root canal procedure, be sure to go back to your dentist. Often this type of condition can be managed by antibiotics and pain killers.

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Is a Root Canal covered by my dental insurance?

Root canals are necessary procedures to allow the patient to save their tooth. Plus, they prevent the infection from worsening and potentially spreading. That means they are covered by dental insurance. Of course, individual plans vary widely on how much coverage they provide, so it’s a good idea to check with your carrier to avoid any surprises. In our office, we pre-authorize procedures but even if these are not covered by your insurance, they are far less expensive than extraction of the tooth, socket grafting the tooth with bone, and placing a dental implant.

What Should I Do if I Cannot Afford a Root Canal?

During your first consultation, it can be beneficial to have questions ready to ask regarding your root canal and your dental financing. If you find that your dental insurance only partially covers your root canal procedure, or you cannot afford to pay for your root canal in full, your first consultation can be a great time to discuss other options for payment.

At Hampton Dental Associates, we are happy to discuss payment plan options like Care Credit with potential patients interested in improving their oral health. Beyond a payment plan for the root canal procedure, it may be possible to explore other, less expensive dental treatments, such as tooth extraction, to treat your oral condition and preserve the health of the rest of your teeth.

Can a Tooth Be Saved Without a Root Canal?

When the pulp of the tooth becomes infected, there is, unfortunately, no way for the tooth to heal from the infection. You will have to seek out professional dental treatment to properly treat this infection and prevent it from spreading throughout your mouth. A root canal will be required to restore the health of the infected tooth. Otherwise, the tooth may need to be extracted.

What Is the Success Rate of Root Canals?

The success rate of root canals is reportedly over 95 percent, 89 percent of patients are often satisfied with their improved oral health after receiving root canal treatment from an endodontist. Root canals are a highly effective procedure for treating tooth infections. In addition to restoring your oral health, root canals can help save your tooth, allowing it to remain healthy and free of infection for up to 20 years, which is, for most patients, results for a lifetime. That being said you need to remember that a root canal on a tooth requires a new filling and a crown in a timely fashion. That means within a few months not years! If you chew on a root canaled tooth for a few years and it breaks, it often requires extraction and either a bridge or an implant. If you decide to do a root canal, be prepared to do the post and core and crown right away to increase your odds of a long term successful result!

Why Choose Hampton Dental Associates for Your Root Canal

Certified by the American Board of Oral Implantologists/Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID), having a Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry are just 2 of a myriad of accomplishments that show that Dr. Richard Winter is a dentist who prioritizes patient comfort, satisfaction, and optimal oral health. He and his team of experienced dental professionals understand the importance of helping patients achieve healthy teeth and the smile they’ve always wanted. Choosing Hampton Dental Associates for your root canal will allow you to undergo a dental procedure and recovery with a trustworthy team who is willing and ready to improve your oral health for the better.

What should I expect during my Root Canal consultation?

It’s likely Dr. Richard Winter will be performing your root canal. During your consultation, they encourage you to ask any and all questions you have about the procedure. There is a good deal of misinformation about this process, so we like to help patients better understand what is involved with the root canal from start to finish.

After it’s apparent that decay and bacteria have entered the interior of your tooth, a root canal is the only way to save the tooth. We’ll explain why this is necessary, and what happens if you don’t have a root canal (likely tooth extraction).

At the end of your consultation, you should know everything you ever wanted to know about a root canal.

Call 414-464-9021 for information on any of our services.

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