Common dental caries (cavities) affect the hard, outer enamel layer of a tooth. When decay reaches further inside a tooth, the dentin and soft dental pulp become infected. As the pulp contains nerves, tooth infections can be highly painful and demand fast response. The ideal solution may be endodontic treatment, or a root canal.
A root canal removes the infected tooth pulp and replaces it with a filling. This removes both the infection and the ability for the tooth to feel pain. Some teeth will require a crown after a root canal in order to remain strong enough to bear the forces of biting and chewing.
A root canal is a conservative alternative to an extraction, as it preserves tooth structure by removing the internal infection. In spite of their bad reputation, root canals are actually similar to a standard filling. If you’re anxious about an upcoming root canal, don’t hesitate to get in touch to get answers to your questions.
Reasons for a Root Canal
Although root canals are typically performed to remove infection, they may be performed for a number of reasons. If a tooth is hypersensitive in any way, a root canal will resolve the problem. Any of the following may lead to hypersensitivity and to the need for a root canal:
- Inflamed tooth pulp
- Severe temperature sensitivity
- Advanced tooth decay
- A badly chipped or broken tooth
- A direct blow to a tooth
- A tooth that has undergone repeated dental procedures and experienced many instances of decay
A root canal is not the terrifying experience that popular culture may have led you to believe. In practice, it is similar to having a cavity filled, simply on a more advanced level. You will receive local anesthesia and will not experience discomfort during the procedure. Dr. Baudean will drill a small hole in the lingual side of the tooth, through which the tooth pulp will be removed. The tooth will be filled, and the hole sealed.
After your root canal, there will be a brief healing period. We will provide detailed healing instructions so that you know exactly what to expect. If pain persists after several days, please get in touch with our office. We are always here to help!
Do I need a root canal?
If you have been experiencing tooth pain and suspect your tooth may be infected, reach out right away to schedule an appointment. Don’t spend a day longer in unnecessary pain. A root canal will heal your tooth and give you a fresh start.