Few dental procedures have the power to induce fear and dread in people as the root canal. Many people have heard horror stories about how painful and complicated they are, but the experts at Hires Dental Care in Toledo, OH want you to know that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and how to prevent needing a root canal in the first place.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment, commonly referred to as simply a “root canal”, becomes necessary when the tissues inside your tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected. This usually happens as the result of deep decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the surface of your tooth. The infection in the pulp can spread down through the root canals of your teeth into tissues of your gums forming an abscess, which is a very severe and painful infection that can be dangerous to your overall health.
How Do I Know if I Need One?
If you have a tooth that’s sensitive to temperature, chewing, touching, or if the gums are inflamed and sensitive around one tooth, let your dentist know as soon as possible, because this may be a sign of an infection around the root. Some dentists will perform root canals, and others may refer you to an endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of the teeth.
The Root Canal Procedure
First, your dentist will numb the area to be treated to ensure you’re comfortable. Then, the dentist will drill down into the crown of the infected tooth and remove the infected pulp from inside the tooth and root canals.
Once the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material is placed inside the now-empty space inside the tooth until a crown is created. In some cases, where tooth decay has compromised the roots and made the tooth unstable, a small metal rod is placed into the root to hold the tooth in place in the gums.
Then, your dentist will create the crown, which will match the natural hue of your teeth. This seals the tooth and prevents bacteria from entering. Before long, the swelling will go down and the tooth will be good as new!
Things to Know
Many people avoid root canals due to the belief that they are painful or risky. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, most root canal procedures are no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. The procedure is performed in a sterile environment to reduce the risk of infection.
Root canals are helpful procedures designed to alleviate pain and save your natural teeth, allowing you to chew properly and smile confidently. Of course, brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can help prevent ever needing a root canal procedure, and make sure you schedule regular exams!
If you think you have symptoms of an infected tooth, don’t wait. Contact our Toledo, OH office today.