Endodontic treatment includes dental procedures that address tooth pain and sensitivity. Tooth pain and sensitivity are typically caused by damaged or infected tooth pulp and the nerves inside your tooth. If the tooth is restored, it saves it from extraction.
You might have heard of a root canal. But there are other oral surgeries performed by endodontist Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA, at his practices in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina. These include revascularization of the open apex and apexification.
If you have issues with your tooth, such as infection, an underdeveloped root, or tissue death, Dr. Nance and our team address it to restore your tooth’s health and functionality.
This blog reviews what you need to know about these procedures, including how to best recover at home.
Explaining endodontic procedures
When you experience an ongoing toothache or tooth sensitivity when you eat or drink something especially hot or cold, have the tooth examined by Dr. Nance. He can check your tooth pulp to determine what’s causing the pain or sensitivity and decide the best treatment.
He might suggest the following:
This procedure treats infected tooth pulp. A cavity or crack in your tooth makes the perfect entrance for bacteria, leading to inflammation and infection. Infected tooth pulp symptoms include pain, sensitivity, and swollen gums.
Dr. Nance drills a small hole in the affected tooth during a root canal and removes the damaged pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. Then, he cleans the pulp chamber before filling it with flexible, rubbery dental material. The tooth is sealed and topped with a protective crown.
When a permanent tooth erupts through your gum line, the tip of the root — the apex — remains open for about three years while the tooth develops. However, this opening can give bacteria the chance to infect the tooth.
If you need a root canal before your apex has closed, Dr. Nance must close the apex to provide a barrier for the root canal filling. During an apexification, Dr. Nance cleans the tooth before putting a new barrier made of calcium hydroxide at the apex.
Revascularization of the apex
This procedure is similar to apexification but takes the treatment one step further.
With revascularization of the apex, the first step is to treat the infection. Dr. Nance cleans the tooth and applies antibiotics. Then, he uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to encourage cell regeneration and new tissue growth that encourages the apex to close and mature on its own.
How to recover from these procedures
If you’ve received one or more of these oral surgeries, it’s important to follow the recovery instructions closely to protect your oral health.
Here are some tips to make recovery easier:
- Don’t bite your cheek or lips while your mouth is still numb
- Don’t eat anything before you get feeling back in your mouth
- Use over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs to soothe pain and swelling
- Avoid using the affected tooth or teeth before the permanent crown is placed
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth and visit our office regularly
You might notice pain and sensitivity while your tooth heals from the surgery. However, if the pain doesn’t subside after a week, contact our team so you can get it examined by Dr. Nance.
If you’re dealing with tooth sensitivity and pain, don’t wait to have it examined by Dr. Nance. Schedule an appointment by calling the nearest office location.