Root Canal Therapy is probably the most feared dental procedure in the world, but Web MD will tell you that a root canal is no more painful than replacing a filling. In fact, the pain that occurs before the treatment itself is actually much worse.
If you have a darkened tooth or discoloration, severe tooth pain while chewing, an ongoing toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold, even after the offending item has been removed, or swelling you may need a root canal. Sometimes the only way a diseased tooth can be identified is by your dentist as no pain or swelling is present.
Root canals are sometimes necessary if you have a deep cavity or more than one dental procedure on the same tooth. You may also need root canal therapy if you have a broken or cracked tooth or if the tooth is injured.
During your root canal, your dentist will remove the infected pulp chamber that is filled with nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissue.
When you schedule an appointment with your dentist a thorough examination of your teeth and gums will be conducted along with x-rays to determine if you need root canal therapy. If your dentist decides that it is the only option, your mouth will be numbed before the procedure. Because the nerve is already dead, you may not require anesthetic, but most dentists prefer to numb the area as it makes the patient feel more relaxed and at ease.
After the anesthetic, your dentist will make an opening in the top of your tooth for easy access to the pulp chamber followed by the use of special files to clean out the unhealthy tooth pulp and the infection in the root canals. Once the roots of your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, your dentist will shape the canals to prepare them for filling. The canals are filled with a permanent filling to prevent contamination and infection.
After the root canals have been filled, your dentist may use a temporary or permanent filling depending on your particular situation. In some cases, a post may be placed before the crown to strengthen the tooth.
If you can’t remember the last time you visited your dentist, schedule an appointment today. After all, you may require root canal therapy and not even know it.