Osborne Family Dental Excellence
Kids dentistry service in North Canton, OH
Grandma and little girl treated family dentistry at Osborne Family Dental
Osborne Family Dental kids dental service in North Canton, Ohio
Osborne Family Dental North Canton dentistry services
Young woman with great smile treated at Osborne Family Dental

What Is a Root Canal?

Root Canal

“You need a root canal.”

Is there any other statement that strikes as much fear as these words uttered during a trip to the dentist?

What is a root canal? It sounds scary. You’ve heard the horror stories. Let’s debunk these stories shrouding this enormously effective dental treatment.

What Is a Root Canal in Plain English?

A root canal is a dental procedure designed to treat inflamed or infected pulp. What’s pulp, you ask? The pulp is the soft tissue under a tooth’s enamel and dentin. It contains blood vessels and nerves. It helps teeth grow, but it is not necessary for tooth survival after the tooth is full-grown. During a root canal, then, infected or inflamed pulp is removed from a tooth.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

During routine dental visits, your dental professional will check for the signs and symptoms of inflamed and/or infected pulp in each tooth. Symptoms include:

  • Tooth pain or tenderness to touch and chewing
  • Long-term tooth sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Any drainage or tenderness in the lymph nodes, bone, or gum around a tooth

An infection may be verified by an x-ray of the tooth or may be discovered during a routine filling, if no other symptoms exist. However it is diagnosed, inflamed or infected pulp must be treated. Left untreated, infected pulp may cause a painful abscess or lead to complications requiring the removal of the entire tooth. If the infection is untreated for too long, it can spread to other teeth and possibly cause serious health issues.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Where root canals used to be painful procedures, modern dentistry has made root canals as easy as getting a routine dental filling. In fact, most patients notice that their tooth feels much better after a root canal because the cause of the pain and inflammation have been treated during the procedure.

What exactly happens during a root canal procedure?

  1. First, the tooth and surrounding area are anesthetized or numbed.
  2. Next, a small opening is drilled in the crown or top of the tooth.
  3. Next, the entire pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth.
  4. Next, the space is filled with a rubbery material called gutta-percha to seal it.
  5. Finally, a temporary filling is placed in the top of the tooth to seal the tooth if a permanent crown will be installed later. Otherwise, a permanent filling is used to seal the opening.

What If I Have Additional Questions About a Root Canal?

If you have additional questions about why a root canal has been prescribed to treat one of your teeth, what to expect during a root canal, or any other concerns about root canals, please contact us. One of our friendly and knowledgeable dental experts would be happy to speak with you about root canals at Osborne Family Dental.

How to Treat Periodontal Disease

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is considered a progressive disease for which there is no known cure. Fortunately, it is not necessary to lose your teeth to this disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you’re not alone. More than 65% of the population suffers from this disease. Fortunately, modern dentistry knows how to treat periodontal disease.

What Are the Goals of Periodontal Disease Treatment?

The treatment of periodontal disease has three goals:

  • Reduce swelling, pocket depth, and infection
  • Reattach gums to healthy teeth
  • Stop disease progression

What Are the Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease?

Treatment options are considered based on the stage of periodontal disease, on how well the disease and/or patient responded to previous treatment, and on the patient’s general 

health. Treatments include noninvasive mechanical treatments, systemic treatments, and surgical treatments. Let’s look at how to treat periodontal disease by discussing each treatment option.

What Are the Noninvasive Mechanical Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Maintenance

Treating periodontal disease starts with prevention. Good oral care—regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing—can prevent periodontal disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease, regular visits to a qualified, dental expert for professional cleaning and check-ups are the second line of defense. If your dentist finds while cleaning that the disease has progressed to the point of needing additional treatment, he may prescribe scaling and/or root planing.

Scaling and root planing can be done right in the dentist’s office during a regular visit. The procedure includes scraping tartar from the tooth surface both above and below the gum line. Planing is the process of smoothing rough spots on the tooth’s root to prevent the adhesion of bacteria under the gum line. Both procedures can be done with special instruments or lasers. Typically, neither procedure is any more uncomfortable than routine dental cleaning and can be repeated as necessary to slow the progression of the disease.

What Are the Systemic Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease?

From the onset of periodontal disease, systemic treatments may be prescribed in addition to noninvasive or surgical treatment procedures. Over-the-counter mouth rinses to topical antibiotic ointments are the simplest forms of systemic treatments prescribed early in the disease’s progression.

For cases in which periodontal disease has progressed and needs a more aggressive systemic treatment, oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Note, however, that this treatment is usually prescribed for the short term to counter specific periodontal disease symptoms and should not be considered a form of long-term treatment.

What Are the Surgical Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease?

When periodontal disease has progressed to threaten the permanency of individual teeth, surgery may be required. Surgical options for periodontal disease include:

  • Flap/pocket reduction surgery
  • Bone/soft tissue grafts
  • Tissue regeneration
  • Bone surgery

As with any health condition for which aggressive treatment has been prescribed, Osborne Family Dental recommends that patients get a second opinion.

Where Can I Get More Information about Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease?

At Osborne Family Dental, our treatment philosophy is “To detect and treat disease as early as possible thus providing the most conservative therapies.” If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease and want to learn more about the treatment options available, contact us to speak with a dental professional. With a thorough examination, Dr. Osborne can discuss with you how to treat your periodontal disease in the most effective way.