What You Need to Know About Root Canals

The thought of getting a root canal is enough to send many people running in the other direction.

But how many of these people know what a root canal actually is?

Sometimes, bacteria enter the pulp of the tooth and cause an infection. When this happens, root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy, is used to remove the infection from the tooth and protect it from future infections.

A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on that tooth, large fillings, or a chip in the tooth. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will form an abscess, which is a painful buildup of pus.

People fear root canals because they assume they’re painful or don’t know what to expect from the procedure. Understanding exactly what root canal therapy is and its procedure will help relieve any anxiety or stress.

What is a Root Canal Treatment?

When a cavity is left untreated for a long time, harmful bacteria can infect the pulp and damage the nerves in the tooth.

During the root canal process, the inflamed pulp is removed, the surfaces inside the tooth are cleaned and disinfected, then a filling is used to seal the hole. In some cases, you may not know you have an infected tooth, although there are certain symptoms you can look out for including:

  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Swollen gums or jaw
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Pimple on the gums
  • Chipped or cracked tooth
  • Tooth pain that doesn’t go away

Each person may experience symptoms differently, which is why it’s crucial to talk to your dentist if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Root Canal Procedure

Root canal therapy requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist.

Your dentist will begin by taking an x-ray to see the shape of the root canal and check for any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. After the anesthesia has been administered, access to the pulp is made by drilling a small hole in the tooth.

The pulp, decay, and dead nerve tissue are removed from the tooth. Once the area is thoroughly cleaned, a sealer paste and rubber compound are used to close the access hole created at the beginning of the procedure.

A tooth that needs a root canal often has a large filling, in which case a crown or other restoration is needed to prevent the filling from breaking and restore the tooth to full function.

For the first few days following the completion of a root canal, your tooth may feel sensitive due to tissue inflammation, though that can be remedied through over-the-counter medication.

Brush, floss, and use mouthwash as you regularly would, and see your dentist regularly.

Root Canal Treatment in Collingwood

Root canals carry a certain stigma and painful connotations, though the procedure is nowhere near as painful as it’s made out to be.

Our experienced, caring team at our Collingwood dental office has created a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere to make you feel comfortable during your visit. We take pride in our ability to provide superior customer service and the best dental care possible.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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