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Nashua Smile Makers
76 Allds Street
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 882-3727
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During this year's baseball spring training, Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton got into a row with a steak dinner—and the beefsteak got the better of it. During his meal, the Gold Glove winner cracked a tooth.

Fortunately, he didn't lose it. Buxton's dentist rescued the tooth with a dental procedure that's been around for over a century—a root canal treatment. The dependable root canal is responsible for saving millions of teeth each year.

Dentists turn to root canal treatments for a number of reasons: a permanent tooth's roots are dissolving (a condition called resorption); chronic inflammation of the innermost tooth pulp due to repeated fillings; or a fractured or cracked tooth, like Buxton's, in which the pulp becomes exposed to bacteria.

One of the biggest reasons, though, is advanced tooth decay. Triggered by acid, a by-product of bacteria, a tooth's enamel softens and erodes, allowing decay into the underlying dentin. In its initial stages, we can often treat decay with a filling. But if the decay continues to advance, it can infect the pulp and root canals and eventually reach the bone.

Decay of this magnitude seriously jeopardizes a tooth's survival. But we can still stop it before that point with a root canal. The basic procedure is fairly straightforward. We begin first by drilling a small hole into the tooth to access the inner pulp and root canals. Using special instruments, we then remove all of the infected tissue within the tooth.

After disinfecting the now empty spaces and reshaping the root canals, we fill the tooth with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. This, along with filling the access hole, seals the tooth's interior from future infection. In most cases, we'll return sometime later and bond a life-like crown to the tooth (as Buxton's dentist did for him) for added protection and support.

You would think such a procedure would get its own ticker tape parade. Unfortunately, there's a cultural apprehension that root canals are painful. But here's the truth—because your tooth and surrounding gums are numbed by local anesthesia, a root canal procedure doesn't hurt. Actually, if your tooth has been throbbing from tooth decay's attack on its nerves, a root canal treatment will alleviate that pain.

After some time on the disabled list, Buxton was back in the lineup in time to hit his longest homer to date at 456 feet on the Twins' Opening Day. You may not have that kind of moment after a root canal, but repairing a bothersome tooth with this important procedure will certainly get you back on your feet again.

If you would like more information about root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”

By Nashua Smile Makers
April 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Root canal therapy has helped countless patients avoid having to resort to tooth extraction. This therapy is best explored at the first signsroot canal of a tooth problem. So, how do you know that you may need a root canal? Ask yourself these questions to find out if you may need treatment and contact a dentist at Nashua Smile Makers in Nashua, NH, for help.

How Do Your Teeth Feel?

A stinging or throbbing pain on one or more of your teeth is usually the most pressing sign that you may need a root canal. The pain can gradually get worse, or in some cases it seems to arrive suddenly. Some tooth discomfort is fleeting and goes away after a day or so, but when it is chronic or lasts for long periods of time, that is a possible sign of advanced tooth decay that needs immediate treatment. Also, consult your Nashua, NH, dentist if you suddenly have problems with tooth sensitivity.

Any Visible Changes to a Tooth or the Gums?

When bad bacteria erode the dental enamel, a dark or black colored mark is often left behind. Open your mouth wide in the mirror to take a close look at the surfaces of all of your teeth for any unusual spots. In some cases, the whole tooth will begin to change color if the nerves are damaged. Also, check for sores that develop around one area of the gum line as this could be a sign of a dental abscess.

How Does Your Breath Smell Lately?

Bad breath is usually something that will go away after you brush, rinse with mouthwash, or eat a mint. But if you still smell a funny odor after cleaning your mouth, that could be a sign of dental decay. Until that decayed tissue is removed and cleaned with root canal therapy, the smell will likely persist.

Call for Root Canal Treatment

If you notice any of these signs of dental decay, act fast—contact your dentist for an examination. Call Nashua Smile Makers in Nashua, NH, at (603) 882-3727 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Salvatore Guerriero or Dr. Salvatore Colletta.

By Nashua Smile Makers
March 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root resorption   root canal  
RootResorptioninAdultTeethisaCauseforConcern

As a new permanent tooth develops, the roots undergo a process of breakdown and growth. As older cells dissolve (a process called resorption), they’re replaced by newer cells laid down (deposition) as the jaw develops. Once the jaw development ends in early adulthood, root resorption normally stops. It’s a concern, then, if it continues.

Abnormal root resorption most often begins outside of the tooth and works its way in, beginning usually around the neck-like (or cervical) region of the tooth. Also known as external cervical resorption (ECR), the condition usually shows first as pink spots where the enamel is being undermined. As these spots continue to erode, they develop into cavity-like areas.

While its causes haven’t been fully confirmed, ECR has been linked to excessive pressure on teeth during orthodontic treatment, periodontal ligament trauma, teeth-grinding or other excessive force habits, and bleaching techniques performed inside a tooth. Fortunately, ECR is a rare occurrence, and most people who’ve had these problems won’t experience it.

When it does occur, though, it must be treated as quickly as possible because the damage can progress swiftly. Treatment depends on the size and location of the resorption: a small site can often be treated by surgically accessing the tooth through the gum tissue and removing the offending tissue cells. This is often followed with tooth-colored dental material that’s bonded to the tooth to replace lost structure.

A root canal treatment may be necessary if the damage has extended to the pulp, the tooth’s interior. However, there’s a point where the resorption becomes too extensive to save the tooth. In these cases, it may be necessary to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or similar tooth restoration.

In its early stages, ECR may be difficult to detect, and even in cases where it’s been diagnosed more advanced diagnostics like a CBCT scanner may be needed to gauge the extent of damage. In any case, it’s important that you have your teeth examined on a regular basis, at least twice a year. In the rare chance you’ve developed ECR, the quicker it’s found and treatment begun, the better your chances of preserving the tooth.

If you would like more information on root resorption, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.