What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure to fix an infected or decaying tooth. During the procedure, your dentist removes the pulp inside your tooth and seals in the space to prevent further decay.
Several factors may have caused your tooth to become infected:
- Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
- A cavity that extends deep inside the tooth
- A crack or fracture that allowed bacteria in
- Tooth injury that may have gone undetected
It’s important to contact your dentist right away if you experience pain or swelling in your teeth so you can save it. Left untreated, your tooth may become irreparably damaged and require extraction.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
First, your dentist numbs your mouth with a local anesthetic. When that kicks in, he drills a hole into the root canal. Using tiny, precise instruments, he cleans out the tissue inside the canal and sterilizes the space. Then, he fills in the cavity with special dental sealant to prevent further infection.
Afterward, your dentist either fills the top of the tooth with a permanent filling or a temporary filling in preparation for a crown. At your follow-up appointment, your dentist examines the tooth and places the permanent crown.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
The idea of having a root canal intimidates a lot of people but others who’ve had one report it feeling no different than a filling. In fact, the drilling and filling aren’t unlike having a cavity filled.
Your dentist numbs your mouth before performing the procedure, so you’ll be numb to any pain. The slight discomfort you might feel after the anesthesia wears off is minimal in comparison to the pain of infection. So even though you might not be eager to have a root canal, it’s meant to relieve your pain, not cause it.
What are the Benefits of a Root Canal?
Anytime you can save your original teeth, you have better outcomes. Your original teeth function and look natural where no replacement can do the same.
Tooth replacement is also much more extensive and expensive than a root canal. The disadvantages of not replacing missing teeth have far-reaching effects including shifting teeth, changed appearance, decreased chewing function, and additional stress on remaining teeth.
If you need to schedule a root canal or think you have an infected tooth, let the experts at Sunrise Dental restore your tooth to full function.