Root Canal Therapy! You Don’t Have To Be Afraid.
Root Canal: What it is, and Why You May Need One. The Easy Guide to Understanding Them.
When a tooth becomes infected or is badly decayed, then a root canal is a treatment employed to repair and save it. A soft tissue called the pulp is inside the tooth and in a hard layer called the dentin, which is under the white enamel. Helping grow the root of your tooth during development, the pulp contains nerve and connective tissue and blood vessels. A tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it, even without the pulp, because a fully developed tooth can survive without it.
After a tooth has grown through the gums, its nerve is not essential to the tooth’s health. Providing the sensations of hot or cold is its only function, a sensory one. The day-to-day functioning of the tooth will not be affected by the presence or absence of a nerve.
Root Canal: Reasons for it
If there is damage to the pulp or nerve tissue, it will grow rampantly within the pulp chamber as it breaks down. The end of the roots of a tooth will form a puss-filled pocket called an abscess or an abscessed tooth. This and an infection can be caused in the tooth if bacteria and other decaying in it.
Situations like trauma to the face, a chip or crack in a tooth, large fillings, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, or deep decay can cause a tooth’s pulp and nerve to become infected or irritated and inflamed.
A root canal becomes necessary when a nerve has been affected.
Root Canal: What Are the Signs That One is Needed?
Even though there are sometimes no evident symptoms, below are some signs that may indicate a root canal is needed:
- A recurring or persistent pimple on the gums
- Tenderness and swelling in nearby gums
- Darkening or discoloration in the tooth
- Prolonged pain or sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures (after the heat or coldness has been removed)
- Severe toothache pain when applying pressure or chewing
Root Canal: What Happens During One?
A dentist or an endodontist (a dentist who is a specialist in the treatment of injuries and diseases of the nerve of the tooth or the human dental pulp, and their diagnosis, causes and prevention) can perform root canals, and they require one or more office visits.
Taking an x-ray to determine the condition of the canal of a root, and see if there is any surrounding bone infection, is the first step in the root canal procedure.
To numb the area near the tooth, we will use local anesthesia next and place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth to keep the site dry and free of saliva during your treatment.
The next step is to clean the pulp of decay and bacteria by making an access hole in the tooth. We use the root canal files to accomplish the cleaning out process and flush away the debris by using sodium hypochlorite or water periodically.
To keep out contaminants such as food and saliva in between dental appointments, we place a temporary filling in the exterior hole in case the root canal procedure is not completed on the first visit. Then it is sealed when it is thoroughly cleaned.
A rubber compound called gutta-percha and a sealer paste are placed in the tooth’s root canal in the second appointment to fill the tooth’s interior. A filling is placed to fill the exterior hole created at the treatment’s beginning.
To protect a tooth with extensive decay or other weakness or a large filling, a post and crown or other restoration may be needed.
A Root Canal: Does It Hurt?
With most patients, this probably is the number one question they ask. They think there will be a lot of pain associated with this procedure, and most people panic when they hear the words “root canal”!
The relief of pain is what a root canal is designed to accomplish. We can now do this procedure while you remain in total comfort because of sedation dentistry and new technology. You never again need to fear a root canal.
Don’t allow pain to keep you from doing what you love and enjoying your life. Please call our office today if you have dental pain and need help.