In a root canal procedure, we remove the inflamed pulp and clean and seal the insides of the tooth. If treatment isn’t prompt, the tissue around the teeth will become infected and form abscesses. At RHTDMD, we truly understand patients’ apprehension and anxiety about root canals. By using our years of expertise and state-of-the-art modern tools, we alleviate their pain and uneasiness and provide a comfortable experience to all.
When Do You Need A Root Canal?
As mentioned before, a root canal is needed when the pulp of the tooth is infected. This may be due to:
- Deep decay due to untreated cavity
- Multiple dental treatments on the same tooth
- Injury to the tooth
- A chip or a crack
Sometimes, a tooth infection may not have apparent indicators. However, many patients do notice certain symptoms. Some of these include:
- Tooth pain: If you have constant deep pain in your tooth, you may need root canal therapy. This pain can also spread to your jaw, face, or other teeth.
- Sensitive Teeth: If your tooth hurts severely after eating something too hot or cold could mean that you need root canal treatment. This is especially true when this pain lasts for a few seconds.
- Swollen gums: When a tooth is infected, pus can collect in the area, leading to red, puffy gums.
- Pimple on the gums: You may develop a pimple on the gums, most probably near your infected tooth. Drainage of pus may cause an unpleasant taste or smell.
- Tooth discoloration: Infected pulp can cause your tooth to look darker. This happens due to poor blood supply to the tooth, indicating that you need root canal treatment.
- Pain when pressure is applied: If you experience pain while eating or chewing, it could mean the nerves around the pulp are damaged.
- Loose tooth: A severe infection can cause the tooth to become loose as it loses support from the bone that becomes soft due to the infected pus.
The root canal treatment steps are started off with a dental exam. This includes an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the damage. Then, a technician will escort you to the endodontist’s (root canal specialist) office, where the procedure will be carried out in three main steps:
The dentist will begin by injecting the patient with local anesthesia. We may also use an additional medication for increased relaxation. You’ll be awake throughout the entire procedure without experiencing any pain whatsoever.
Removing the Pulp
Once numbed, the dentist will create a small opening to access the infected pulp of your tooth. The pulp is extracted using special tools called files. Once the infection is removed, we carefully clean out and disinfect the root canals and insides of the pulp chamber thoroughly. The dentist may also use a topical antibiotic to cover the area.
Filling and Sealing
Lastly, the dentist fills the tooth with a rubber-like sealant material called gutta-percha. This prevents the bacteria from re-entering or the canals from being damaged by the saliva.
Experiencing pain after the root canal is normal and no cause for concern. Following the procedure, your gums and teeth might feel sore. These after-effects can be countered by painkillers. As always, taking care of your basic dental health is crucial. Avoid chewing with the damaged tooth until a permanent crown is installed. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to take an x-ray to make sure that the infection is gone. Finally, it may take you a couple of weeks to get used to how your tooth feels.