Lions, and tigers, and root canals, oh my!
While root canals are typically anticipated with dread, the procedure can help to save a badly damaged tooth.
The fear assocatied with a root canal probably stemmed from a bygone era when dental techniques and procedures were much more painful than they are today.
With newer tools and better freezing techniques, a root canal today should be no more uncomfortable that a dental filling.
What is a root canal?
Your root canal is the inner portion of your tooth, the internal space that houses your tooth’s nerve and the pulp that protects it. You can experience a great deal of pain when it becomes inflamed, irritated, or infected.
Root canal problems are typically caused by:
- An infected tooth that is decayed or has a deep cavity
- A tooth that is cracked, chipped or broken
- An injury or trauma
What to expect
A root canal treatment is may be completed in one dental visit or several, depending on your situation. The treatment is actually a series of steps:
- The inner portion of your tooth is opened up . You’ll be given a local anesthetic to lessen the pain that may occur during this step.
- Next we give you what’s known as a pulpectomy. This simply means the diseased pulp is removed, and the now empty inner chamber is cleaned and prepared it for a filling.
- The filling consists of a rubbery material called gutta-percha. In some cases a metal or plastic rod is inserted into the canal for extra support.
- If your tooth needs restoration after the procedure is complete, a dental crown can be placed to restore its shape, strength, and appearance.
Does a root canal hurt?
As noted above, root canal fear is often misplaced. In fact, there’s good reason to not flee from a root canal. Opting out can cause you more problems down the road.
- Left to itself, bacteria and decay can cause an infection or a painful abscess
- The swelling can spread beyond your mouth and impact your face, neck, or head
- The jawbone surrounding the problem tooth can become damaged
- As pressure builds the infection can begin to seep out, affecting your gums or the skin of your cheek
Rescue your teeth and stop the pain
Keeping as many natural teeth as you possibly can is a good oral health insurance. Root canal treatment can help you save your tooth and relieve the pain created by infected pulp in your tooth’s root.