Our Blog

Symptoms That Could Mean You Need a Root Canal

March 10th, 2021

Every tooth packs a lot of layers in a very small area. The outer, visible part of our tooth, the crown, is covered in protective enamel, and the lower root area is protected by a similar substance called cementum. Inside these very hard layers is dentin, a hard but more porous tissue which surrounds the pulp. In this central pulp chamber, we have the blood vessels which nourish the tooth and the nerves which send our bodies signals from the tooth. And if one of those signals is persistent tooth pain, you may need a procedure called a root canal.

There are a number of reasons that a tooth may cause you pain, including:

  • Fracture—a cracked or broken tooth can allow bacteria to enter the pulp chamber and cause inflammation and infection
  • Cavity—an untreated cavity can leave an opening where bacteria can reach the pulp of the tooth, and again lead to infection
  • Gum Disease—bacteria can attack from the root area of the tooth if gum disease has become serious
  • Injury—an accident or injury to a tooth can damage the nerve or the blood supply which nourishes the pulp
  • Abscess—if infection is left untreated, an abscess may form under the root

While a damaged tooth may sometimes be symptom-free, usually there are signs that the pulp has been injured or infected. What symptoms should lead you to give Drs. Manzoli, Russo, Pauk, Desrosiers, Sahakyants a call?

  • Persistent pain in the tooth
  • Long-lasting sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Gum tissue adjacent to the tooth that is sore, red or swollen
  • A cracked, broke, darkened or discolored tooth
  • A bump on your gums that persists or keeps recurring—this might indicate an abscess

A root canal is performed by a trained dentist or endodontist. After an anesthetic is used to numb the area, the damaged tissue, including pulp, blood vessels and nerves, is removed from the pulp chamber and each root. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and shaped, and filled and sealed with a temporary filling. The tooth is filled again permanently, usually on a second visit, and might require a crown in order to protect it from further damage.

The most painful part of a root canal is far more often the time spent suffering before the procedure than the procedure itself. Delaying action when a root canal is necessary can lead to infection, abscess, and even tooth loss. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, please give our Worcester office a call!

 

Types of Endodontic Treatment

February 24th, 2021

Endodontists, like Drs. Manzoli, Russo, Pauk, Desrosiers, Sahakyants, are dentists who specialize in the treatment of the inside of the tooth. The type of treatment an endodontist performs is designed to go deep into the tooth where the infection or inflammation resides, and to remove that tissue to alleviate pain. Obvious signs that you need to seek endodontic treatment include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area around the gum, bone, lymph nodes, or elsewhere on the face. Tenderness to the tooth area, discomfort and sensitivity to hot and cold, chewing, and tooth discoloration are also indications that you should seek endodontic treatment.

Reasons to Seek Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic treatment (a root canal) is necessary when the pulp within the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. Many factors can contribute to the infection or inflammation, including cracked or chipped teeth, deep decay, and even repeated treatment (such as the replacement of fillings). Teeth can also incur pulp damage from injuries that don't cause visible damage to the tooth. Without treatment, an inflammation or infection can turn into an abscess.

What is a root canal?

A root canal allows Drs. Manzoli, Russo, Pauk, Desrosiers, Sahakyants to literally get to the "root" of the problem and treat it. A hole is drilled to allow access to the pulp within the tooth. The pulp and any infected and/or inflamed tissue are removed. The exposed area is then thoroughly cleaned. At this point, the open canal is filled with gutta-percha, which is cemented to the canal with adhesive. The hole is then covered with a temporary crown that is removed once the permanent crown, which is typically made of porcelain and metal, is installed. The tooth then functions normally.

Other Types of Endodontic Treatment

Other types of treatment that endodontists perform to save teeth include an apicoectomy. In this procedure, the gum is opened near the tooth to allow the endodontist to explore the area near the bone. Any impacted tissue, either inflamed or infected, is then removed. The end of the root is also removed. The rest of the procedure involves cleaning the area, packing it with protective material, and then covering the tooth with a permanent crown.

Endodontists also perform procedures on abscessed teeth. An abscess contains pus and/or other infected material. It usually occurs when an infected or inflamed tooth pulp isn't treated. Sometimes, the absence of pain or other symptoms prevents a patient from knowing they have an infection or inflammation. Drs. Manzoli, Russo, Pauk, Desrosiers, Sahakyants will remove the infected area and perform a procedure much like the root canal, and patients recover quickly.

At Central New England Endodontics and Implantology, it's our goal to help you sustain excellent oral health so that you can keep all of your natural teeth! Our Worcester office staff is always here to answer all of your questions and help you feel comfortable about your endodontic treatment.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

February 17th, 2021

Tooth decay affects everyone, with studies reporting that 92% of adults have had a cavity at one point in their lifetime. In more serious instances of tooth decay, however, the nerve of the tooth may become infected. This type of infection requires a root canal, in which the affected nerve is removed, and the interior of the tooth is cleaned and filled.

Tooth Anatomy

Although each tooth is covered by a hard outer shell, the interior of a tooth consists of dental pulp. This pulp is soft, containing blood vessels that bring nutrients to the tooth. Each tooth also has an associated nerve, which resides within a root canal passing from the tooth’s root into the dental pulp. This nerve provides information about temperature, allowing teeth to sense heat or cold.

Symptoms of Nerve Infection

Damage to the dental pulp or nerve tissue leads to a rapid multiplication of bacteria within the interior of the tooth. The result may be an abscess, a small pocket near the root of the tooth that becomes full of pus. This infected area commonly causes the following symptoms:

  • Intense pain or sensitivity when pressure is applied to the tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the heat or cold has been removed
  • Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth
  • A small, persistent pimple that forms on the gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Swelling in other areas of the face, neck, or head

Nerve infection may occur due to deep decay, although repeated dental procedures, facial trauma, chipping or cracking of a tooth, or large fillings may also contribute to an abscessed tooth.

What to Do if You Think You Need a Root Canal

Only a visit to Drs. Manzoli, Russo, Pauk, Desrosiers, Sahakyants can confirm whether a tooth’s nerve has become infected. We will perform an oral examination and X-rays to confirm whether the tooth is abscessed. If a root canal procedure is needed, a small hole will be placed in the tooth. The pulp and nerve tissue are removed from the tooth, which is thoroughly cleaned and filled. Then, the hole is sealed with a special compound to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth’s interior. The entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia to numb pain.

If you think you may have tooth or nerve decay, call our Worcester office today to schedule a diagnostic appointment.

The Transformation of Valentine's Day

February 10th, 2021

Did you know the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine's Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war. Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming marriage illegal.

Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD. Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine”. Nearly 1,800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in this manner. This year, carry on the tradition started long ago, while adding your own twist. Here are a few suggestions.

Simple and Creative Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Memorialize it with a Photo. Couples often have photos taken around Christmas, but Valentine's Day photos allow you to capitalize on romance. Famous couple Julia Child and her husband, Paul, had their picture taken together every Valentine's Day and included their sense of humor with silly props.
  • Return to Your First Date Location. Even if your first date together was at a local hotdog stand, its sentimental value can make it a fun part of your Valentine's Day agenda. Be creative and make a treasure hunt with clues that lead your partner to the original date location, where you can express your love with flowers or a gift.
  • “From Your Valentine” Messages. Deliver your message in a creative way to make this Valentine's Day stand out from the others. Bake your partner's favorite treat and write a message on it with a tube of icing, or draw a note on the steamed up mirror so it shows up when your partner takes a shower.

Although Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love, it doesn't have to be a special day only for couples. If you're single, use this special day to shower yourself with love, because you're worth it! After all, the priest Valentine believed so strongly in the sanctity of love that he was willing to risk his life for it. Whether you're in a relationship or single, young or old, romantic or not, Valentine's Day is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day from the dental office of Drs. Manzoli, Russo, Pauk, Desrosiers, Sahakyants.