You May Cringe When You Hear This Word
When people hear the word ‘root canal’ they tend to cringe. It’s common for people to assume root canals are painful and should be avoided. Today, it’s not necessary to be fearful of getting this important treatment done. Thanks to modern medicine and anesthetics, the discomfort is similar to getting a cavity filled and nothing to worry about. Keep reading to learn more.
A root canal is performed to save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected in the root. This occurs when the pulp of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels, has been exposed to harmful bacteria. Symptoms of pulp damage include severe toothaches, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, darkening of the tooth, and painful swelling of the gums.
The Process Of Getting A Root Canal
A root canal is typically performed in two dentist visits.
- First, we take an x-ray to see the shape of the root canal. The tooth and its surrounding area are numbed with either an injection or topical anesthetic.
- Next, we use a small drill to create an opening in the crown of the tooth. An endodontic file reaches down and scrapes out infected tissue from the sides of the tooth. Then, the root canal is treated with a disinfecting solution.
- When the tooth has been fully cleaned, it is sealed up that day. If medication is put inside the tooth to kill bacteria at the root, then a temporary filling may be inserted to seal the opening. The seal is a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.
- A second appointment is scheduled a week out to finish the procedure. At that time, we may choose to put on a dental crown to protect the tooth.
It’s our goal to save the tooth and prevent it from being extracted. Root canals allow us to do this, as well as relieve you of any tooth pain, stop the spread of an infection and improve your oral health. If you have questions about this tooth-saving treatment, please call our Terre Haute office today, and we will be happy to help you.