Do you know what can happen if you don’t follow a good regimen of brushing and flossing? You already know the answer to that question, right?
Over time, cavities can develop and put your smile at risk. Left untreated, a cavity can spread and eventually reach the inner part of your tooth, known as the pulp. When this happens, you can experience a significant amount of pain. A root canal will then be needed in most cases.
Oh no! Not a root canal! These are probably two of the most feared words in the English language. Many people associate a root canal with an extremely awful and painful dental procedure – one that they would do anything to avoid.
However, root canals don’t deserve such a bad reputation. They are actually a very beneficial service, as root canal treatment can save your tooth from extraction when it’s badly diseased due to a cavity. But not only that, a root canal will stop the intense pain you’re feeling from your infected tooth.
You may be thinking, But root canals hurt a lot, right? Actually, the answer is no. Most patients report that a root canal is no more uncomfortable than having a tooth filled. Many of us have had a filling placed at one time or another.
Then why do root canals have such a bad reputation? We don’t really know the answer to that; the reputation of root canals is an urban myth that won’t go away.
However, we’d like to explain the steps of root canal therapy so that if you ever happen to need it, you’ll understand what is involved and you won’t be fearful of it.
Why Would You Need a Root Canal?
The inside of each tooth is comprised of the pulp chamber, which houses nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue – it’s the living part of the tooth. If a cavity is allowed to reach the pulp, or if the tooth is damaged in some way that allows bacteria in, the pulp can become infected.
When this happens, you can experience intense, throbbing pain. The pain can interfere with eating, sleeping, or just being able to relax.
Understand the Steps of a Root Canal Procedure
When your dentist at Beaumont Family Dentistry performs a root canal procedure, they will follow careful steps to repair your tooth and help you feel better.
Here’s what will happen during a root canal:
- We’ll first numb the area we’re working on. A local anesthetic will ensure that you don’t feel a thing during your procedure.
- Plus, we offer three sedation options if you’re especially nervous about your procedure. You can choose from inhaled sedation with laughing gas, oral conscious sedation in pill form, or IV sedation that will put you in a sleep-like state. We can discuss all these options in detail and help you decide on one for your procedure.
- After sedation has been administered and the local anesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will first make a tiny hole in the top of your tooth so they can access the pulp chamber.
- Then, using special tools, they will clean out all the infected pulp inside the tooth. They will make sure to remove all the infection so that you don’t have problems with the tooth later on.
- Your dentist will also carefully repair and shape the root canals inside the tooth and apply a disinfecting medication to make sure the inside of the tooth is completely sterile.
- Next, we’ll fill the root canals with a special rubber-like material known as gutta-percha. This material seals the root canals to help prevent reinfection.
- When they’re done repairing and sealing the pulp chamber, your dentist will then fill the hole on top of your tooth with composite resin, just like they were filling a tooth.
A Crown Will Make Your Tooth (Almost) As Good As New
As a finishing repair, it is best to cap the tooth with a new crown. A crown will strengthen the tooth, help prevent further problems, and restore virtually all your biting and chewing capacity.
We can actually make your new crown right here in our office using the CAD/CAM technology of our CEREC system. This in-office technology means that you can get your crown at the same appointment as your root canal – you won’t have to wait days or weeks, then return to have the crown placed.
Our hope is that by explaining the root canal procedure, you’ll have a better understanding of it. There’s really no reason to dread having one, as it can stop your throbbing toothache so you feel better.
A root canal can save your diseased tooth from extraction, so don’t delay treatment! Call Beaumont Family Dentistry today at one of our three locations to schedule an appointment.