If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, it is important to seek immediate dental care as it may be a sign of an underlying dental issue that requires prompt attention. One such issue that can cause significant pain is an infected or damaged tooth root, which may require a root canal procedure to treat. While the idea of such a procedure may cause some anxiety or fear, it is a common and highly effective treatment option for saving a damaged tooth and alleviating pain.
The alternative option of treating the canals is to do nothing or extract the tooth, both of which will leave you toothless. Remember, you only have one set of adult teeth, which you need to eat, so you want to care for your teeth to the greatest extent possible.
A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat an infected or damaged tooth pulp. The tooth pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. If a cavity is left untreated long enough, the infection will eventually reach the tooth pulp, which then becomes inflamed or infected and can cause pain and other symptoms. An experienced dentist at Vaksman Dental Group then removes the damaged pulp and replaces it with a filling material to protect the tooth from further infection or damage.
Common Symptoms include:
Swelling and tenderness in the gums
Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
Discoloration of the tooth
Pain when biting or chewing
Understanding Root Canal Procedure
An endodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on treating problems with the tooth pulp and root canal. However, many general dentists can and do perform routine, non-complex canal procedures. The procedure involves the following steps:
X-ray: Your dentist will take an X-ray of the tooth to determine the extent of the damage.
Anesthesia: The dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth to minimize any pain during the procedure.
Access: The dentist will make an opening in the tooth to reach the damaged pulp.
Cleaning: The dentist will use small files to clean the pulp chamber and the canals of the tooth.
Filling: Once the tooth is cleaned, the dentist will fill the pulp chamber and the canals with a filling material.
Crown: In some cases, a crown may be placed on top of the tooth to provide additional support and protection.
Root Canal Before and After
You may experience some discomfort and sensitivity in the treated tooth for a few days following the treatment. But once the tooth has healed, this will go away. A tooth that has undergone a root canal may be able to remain in place for life with proper care.
It is important to arrange an appointment with your dentist or root canal specialist as soon as possible if you experience any tooth pain or other symptoms that may indicate the need to immediately visit your dentist. Delaying treatment can lead to further complications and may require more extensive procedures to save the tooth. If you do nothing, you will eventually lose the tooth.
Root Canal FAQ
Generally, a root canal is not more painful than getting a regular filling. Our dentists conduct the procedure under local anesthesia so that the area around the tooth is numb and you don’t feel much pain during the root canal procedure.
During a root canal, the dentist removes damaged or infected pulp from the tooth. Then we clean the tooth and fill it to prevent further infection or damage.
With proper care, a tooth that has had a root canal can last a lifetime.
Depending on the severity of the infection and the complexity of the tooth's structure, the duration of root canal treatment may vary, but generally it is a few hours. One or two appointments may be required to complete most of the root canals.
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