Most patients find the idea of a root canal to be extremely unnerving. However, a root canal is necessary to repair and save a tooth that has been severely infected or decayed. It is also perceived to be painful, which leads most people to put the procedure off for as long as possible. However, most report that the procedure is only slightly uncomfortable and scale it to being equal to getting a dental filling. Prolonging the procedure and living with a badly infected or decaying tooth can be much more painful than the actual procedure. If you are experiencing severe pain, it may be best to contact us, Stansell Dentistry Associates, to get your tooth examined to see if a root canal is necessary.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is performed to repair teeth and remove any infection or tooth decay present. A root canal is essential for severe cases of a cavity, where the dental pulp becomes infected or damaged. During the procedure, a dentist removes the dental pulp which is composed of nerves and blood vessels. The tooth is then cleaned and sealed afterward. Dental pulp does not play an important role in the health of your teeth once they emerge from the gums. Its only function is to provide sensory reactions to hot and cold. Without these nerves and blood vessels, your day-to-day experience is often unaffected. The only real issue with removing dental pulp is that it makes your tooth more susceptible to fracture. However, this is only a minimal problem experienced by patients who have root canal treatment performed.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Several signs and symptoms may lead you to believe that a root canal treatment is necessary. Deep decay and darkened gums, pimples on your gum, tooth sensitivity to both hot and cold, sharp pain when chewing or biting, swollen, and often painful gums, and chipped or cracked teeth are the most common symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must visit our professionals immediately to get your teeth examined so we can better guide you on your next steps.
Root Canal Procedure
A root canal procedure begins with an dental exam of your teeth. This is both a physical exam and an x-ray exam to help your dentist see the shape of your root canals and determine where there is an infection around the bone. An anesthetic is applied near the area, although it is not always necessary if the nerve is already dead. A rubber dam is placed around the tooth to keep the area dry and saliva-free during the treatment. Your dentist will then drill into the tooth to access the dental pulp. The pulp is then removed, any bacteria or infection is cleaned, and the decayed nerve tissue is cleared out. Once the tooth is determined to be cleaned, we will determine if any remaining infection is left. If so, a temporary filling is placed, and you will be sent home with medication to clear the infection. If no infection remains, your tooth will be sealed immediately. In the event of a bad infection or tooth decay, a crown may be placed to protect your tooth and restore it to its full function.
Root canal treatments may take one to three sessions, depending on the severity of it. If you think you may need a root canal, call Stansell Dentistry Associates at 984-477-0177 to schedule an appointment today.