Root Canal Infections

How technology is changing how we treat root canal infections


Is the thought of the traditional root canal keeping you away from your dentist? These days, your dentist can ease that anxiety and pain with the help of the dental laser root canal technique. A root canal procedure today is gentle and without the usual after effects with the help of the new laser technology available.

How do you know if you need a root canal?

Here are several symptoms that may indicate that you need a root canal:

  • When chewing you experience severe pain in your tooth when pressure is applied
  • Spontaneous pain occurring day or night from the affected tooth
  • Lingering sensitivity or pain to cold or hot temperatures of food eaten
  • Any darkening or discoloration of the suspected tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness of the neighboring gums
  • Recurring persistent sore pimple or abscess on the gums near tooth
  • Symptoms may not necessarily be present 

Why a root canal?

Usually, your dentist will suggest a root canal after x-rays confirm the presence of tooth decay. Many times a cavity will extend deep into the tooth’s pulp. If the pulp becomes infected with bacteria, it will become inflamed and you will experience pain. Eventually, the pulp along with the tooth will die and leave decayed tissue. Years ago, the tooth would have been extracted but dentists today like to save the tooth if possible.

Recurring dental procedures on a tooth can cause stress on it. It not only can weaken the tooth but also damage the pulp causing inflammation. Your dentist will know if the tooth’s pulp can be saved to correct any further difficulties. Fractures due to a weakened tooth or decay can damage healthy tooth tissue creating a need for a root canal. Root canals are also performed in preparation for post placement for crowns or implants.

A more effective and safer root canal process

If you have lived through a traditional root canal, the anxiety at the thought of needing another is excruciating. With today’s dental lasers, you do not need to worry. Lasers offer a clean, efficient, safe and healthier alternative to the tradition root canal that utilizes dental drills and files.

Benefits of the dental Laser

  • Reduced time needed for treatment in the dental chair
  • Less anxiety and fear due to the sound and use of the dreaded dental drill
  • Higher probability to preserve healthy tooth during cavity and decay removal
  • Diminished sensitivity in tooth
  • Minimal swelling and bleeding during the treatment of soft tissues
  • Chance of recurrent root canal infection is greatly decreased
  • Time needed for healing is shorter
  • Reduced discomfort after root canal 

Not only can the dental laser remove the decayed material in your tooth, but also has a bactericidal effect on the inner tooth. The laser’s heat cleanses and disinfects the canals and sub-canals of the infected tooth. The chance of bacteria surviving this process is minimized due to the laser’s high temperature for this endodontic treatment helping to eliminate recurring root canal infection. This quick and noninvasive procedure has high recovery and success rates in comparison to the traditional root canal methods of the past.

Consider talking to your dentist about that tooth pain

Don’t wait until the pain keeps you so very distracted you cannot concentrate during the day, or keeps you awake at night. The dental laser procedure may be the solution you are looking for to relieve that pain from your root canal infection. 

If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll reply by tomorrow.

About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)

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