Everyone has heard of a root canal, but does anyone know what it’s supposed to do? A root canal is a very common procedure, but many patients don’t exactly know what to expect. Along with El Dorado Hills cosmetic dentistry, Forest Ridge dental offers the best root canal treatments. If you’re looking for expert service, we’ve got you covered.
This article will serve as your root canal guide. It will tackle many areas like definition, process, safety, disadvantages, benefits, and more.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is referred to as “endodontic therapy” in dentistry. It is considered one of the safest and most successful dental procedures. This procedure is done when the tooth has experienced decay or infection.
This dental procedure involves the removal of the pulp or the soft center of the tooth. The pulp is a bundle of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels that aid in the tooth’s growth.
Decay and infection are the most common causes associated with the procedure. Still, other reasons include trauma to the face, chipped teeth, and large fillings.
Is it necessary to perform a root canal? Yes, it often is. Removing infected or decaying pulp is essential to preserve the structure of the tooth. Removing these will not in any way affect the function of the teeth.
When Is a Root Canal Needed?
Dentists suggest root canal treatments when they find dental complications in x-rays and various examinations. Below are some of the oral health issues that can lead to a patient needing a root canal.
- Swollen gums
- Painful chewing
- Deep decay
- Darkened gums
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages
- Chipped teeth
- Trauma to the face
Common Symptoms of Injured Pulp
- Pain in the tooth
- Feeling of heat in the gums
Root Canal Recovery
After the root canal, the anesthesia will wear off, as well as the numbing. The gums may swell and can lead to some discomfort. Dentists usually prescribe pain medications when necessary if the over-the-counter pain medications don’t help.
There are a few things to avoid after the procedure, such as chewing using the damaged tooth. But overall, you can go back to your daily routine.
A follow-up will help see if your infection is gone and the area is healing correctly. The dentist will also address any questions and concerns regarding the procedure, as well as replace the temporary crown with a permanent one.
It may take you several weeks to get used to how the tooth feels after the procedure. It is normal and has no cause for concern.
How Does It Work?
Root canal procedures are performed in the dental clinic. Before operations, there are other things to consider, such as the length of work done on the tooth, x-rays, and the target tooth of the root canal. Below are steps on how a root canal works:
Step 1: Anesthetic
The dentist will place a small amount of numbing medication on the gum near the tooth area. After this, the dentist will inject a local anesthetic into the gums.
During the procedure, you will remain awake the whole time. The anesthetic will help in making the process less painful for you. It will wear off afterward, but you can lessen the pain with over-the-counter pain medications.
Step 2: Removing the Pulp
After numbing the area around the tooth, a rubber dam is placed inside the mouth to keep the area around it dry and clean. The dentist will make a small opening in the top of the tooth. Once they see infected pulp, they remove it using files.
Files are specialized tools used especially for root canal procedures. The canals are slowly and carefully cleaned, clearing out the infection to prevent it from spreading and causing more pain.
Step 3: Antibiotics
Once they remove the pulp, the dentist may coat the area with a topical antibiotic to ensure that the infection is gone and to prevent reinfection. Once the canals are cleaned and disinfected, the dentist will fill and seal the tooth with a sealer paste and rubber-like material called gutta-percha.
Step 4: Temporary Crown
The dentist will typically end the procedure by placing a temporary crown over the repaired tooth.
The patient will be required to come back after the procedure. It will ensure that the healing is going well. The temporary crown will also be replaced with a permanent one.
The Benefits of Getting Root Canal
Root canals have many benefits, especially with persistent tooth pain, sensitivity, and other complications. Below are a few benefits of getting a root canal.
- Alleviate dental pain
- Healthier teeth
- Reduces the possibility of complications
The Downside of Root Canal Procedures
Dentists are well-versed with the root canal procedure. However, there are still cases of complications. Below are a few complications or downsides of having a root canal that can happen if you don’t choose an expert dentist.
- Perforation of the tooth canal with the file result of wrong technique or forced instrumentation
- Breaking of an instrument
- Disseminate the infection in the periapical tissues – leads to periodontitis
- False route
- Obstruction of the root canal
Is a Root Canal Safe?
A root canal is a safe procedure. As mentioned above, dentists are well-trained to perform this procedure. Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has more than a 95% success rate.
A root canal is considered a restorative procedure. Most people who undergo the procedure can enjoy positive results for many years. Still, how long results last depends on the way you take care of your teeth.
Just as the rest of your teeth depend on good oral hygiene habits, your restored tooth requires regular brushing and flossing as well.
Are You in El Dorado Hills Looking for Cosmetic Dentistry?
Now that you know everything there is to know about the root canal procedure, you can now weigh down your options on whether you want to go for this treatment or not. If you’re in El Dorado Hills, looking for a general or cosmetic dentist, head on over to Forest Ridge Dental. Call us today!