The root canal has been the subject of jokes and “horror” stories for ages. However, it’s hardly a laughing matter if you are the one suffering the excessive sensitivity and pain of a severely damaged or infected tooth. Fortunately, today’s dental methods and technology have made the root canal commonplace and virtually painless. Any discomfort will be offset by the tremendous relief gained from the elimination of the pain associated with the infection.
What Is a Root Canal?
Inside your tooth is soft tissue, called pulp, that contains the nerves and blood vessels that provide nourishment to your tooth. Despite being protected by the outer enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, the pulp can become infected from a deep cavity or trauma to the tooth. The result is pain and a possible abscess. The infection could damage bone in the area and put you at risk of losing the tooth.
Fortunately, your permanent teeth also get nourishment from surrounding tissues and can remain healthy without the pulp. To save your tooth, the infected pulp can be removed in a process known as a “root canal.” An opening is created in the top of the tooth and the pulp is removed. Then the area is thoroughly cleaned and treated with an antibiotic if necessary. The empty chamber is filled with a rubber-like material, and the opening at the top of the tooth is covered — typically with a crown or filling, depending on the location of the repaired tooth. If the infection was severe enough to cause bone damage, a post may be placed in the root canal to provide stability.
After the Root Canal Treatment
It is possible that your tooth may feel a little sensitive or different for a few days afterward, but typically, any discomfort can be remedied with over-the-counter medications. With proper care, a tooth restored with a root canal treatment can last a lifetime. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing and getting regular checkups and cleanings.
Say Goodbye to the Pain
At Friendly Family Dentistry we are ready to answer any questions about the root canal you may have. Our primary goal is to save your teeth. The root canal is a relatively painless way to do just that. If you are in the Terre Haute, Indiana, area and are suffering from tooth sensitivity and pain, contact our office today to schedule a consultation so we can get you on the road to recovery.