Many of us have grown up to know of root canals only as a big scary surgery that we don’t want to go through. This is why making a trip to the dentist keeps getting put off until it’s an emergency!
We want to make sure that if you suspect you have any dental issues that you come to us right away, so we can treat them. Here is the breakdown of all you need to know about root canals to put you at ease.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is the natural cavity in the center of the tooth. The pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal where the tooth’s nerve is.
A root canal procedure is basically treatment to repair and save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed.
What Causes a Root Canal?
When the tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it will break down and bacteria will multiply within the pulp chamber. If it’s not detected right away, the bacteria and decay can cause infection—an abscessed tooth. An abscess (a pus-filled pocket) is caused when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the tooth’s roots.
If not treated right away, the infection can also cause severe pain and swelling, as well as further issues in the mouth and gums.
The Root Canal Procedure
Before you go into panic mode, breathe. We will make sure you are pain-free! If treatment sounds far too terrifying, I.V. sedation may be the best solution for your anxieties. Remember, the procedure is to ensure that no further problems arise so that you can have a happy, healthy smile.
The procedure itself is usually done in one visit, although on rare occasions it may need extra visits, as we want to ensure we get all the infection and the root canal fully cleaned out so that there are no further issues.
First, we take a digital x-ray to see the shape of the root canals and see if there is any sign of infection nearby. We then give the root canal a thorough cleaning. When the tooth is fully cleaned, it is sealed. Afterwards, the tooth should usually be crowned.
After the Procedure
You may take an over-the-counter pain medication for any sensitivity or discomfort you may be feeling after the procedure. The tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days post-treatment due to natural tissue inflammation, especially if you’ve experienced pain or discomfort before having the procedure.
Until your permanent filling and/or dental crown is in place, it is best to minimize chewing with that particular tooth.
Continue your regular dental care routine of brushing, flossing, use an antiseptic mouthwash, and coming to see us for checkups and regular cleaning.
If you have any further concerns, please come see us right away. We are always here to help improve your smile.
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