Root canal – two words that strike fear at the very mention despite the fact most can’t answer the question, “What is root canal treatment?” Most people hear the words “root canal” and think “pain”, but done correctly, a root canal actually relieves pain.
But, what is a root canal? Who needs one and why? What is the process and what can you expect if you are getting one? Here are some general answers, but to learn more, talk to your dentist about your specific situation to discover what is best for you.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that cleans the inside of a tooth when the pulp in the tooth has become infected. This could happen due to:
- A tooth abscess
- Needing a crown
- Severe tooth decay
- Facial/mouth/tooth trauma
- Cracked tooth and/or filling
Often a patient will notice tooth pain, extreme temperature sensitivity in the tooth, swelling and soreness, and even discoloration in an infected tooth. If you’re experiencing these symptoms – call your dentist, as the pain may be resolved with a root canal!
Steps to a Root Canal
- An x-ray is always done to check the extent of the infection and to see the entire tooth and root area.
- Local anesthesia is applied to keep the patient comfortable during the process.
- Rubber sheeting is placed around the tooth to keep it dry. A rubber guard keeps saliva away from the tooth that is being worked on to ensure safety.
- The dentist creates an opening in the tooth that allows them to clean the inside of the tooth. If the tooth is going to be kept and restored (rather than removed), the infection is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned.
- After cleaning and shaping the inside, a special type of filling is done. Filling the space where the tooth pulp was removed helps to prevent reinfection and also helps strengthen the tooth.
- Sometimes a post is used to give the tooth additional support. If enough original tooth structure is not present to support a final renewal, a post may be necessary.
- A crown is used to complete the restoration.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment is the entire process of diagnosing the need for, conducting the procedure, and doing follow-up dental care to reduce your pain, save your teeth, and improve your dental health. The goal of root canal therapy is to save the tooth, which means you can get back to enjoying the food you love without pain. The entire process often includes a few visits, and with today’s technology is faster and more effective than ever before.
Contact PERFECT TEETH today if you need a root canal or more information on root canal treatment options. Stop living with pain and see us to support your dental health. Find a PERFECT TEETH dentist in your area online to make an appointment for relief today!