Anyone who has ever had a toothache can attest to how excruciating it can be. The sleepless nights are nothing to look forward to. Even though your teeth are strong, they can get weak either through negligence or over-consuming acidic foods. This exposes your teeth to decay, and you might need treatment if you want to salvage your teeth.
Root canals by far are the best solution for treating decayed teeth, especially if the tooth structure is still intact. Our endodontists will provide the necessary oral health care that you need so that you do not lose your teeth.
However, just the thought of getting a root canal instills fear in the hearts of many people. Even some might think that the procedure is unbearable. But this isn’t the case. Let’s dive a little deeper.
Your root canal is located in the inner part of your tooth. This area is home to what is known as the dental pulp. As opposed to the visible hard outer covering that we know as enamel, the pulp is soft and contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels necessary to nourish and grow your teeth.
Proper oral health care is essential since it guarantees that your enamel stays healthy and strong to protect this inner softer part of your teeth. However, if the enamel is compromised, the pulp becomes exposed to bacteria, and food can get trapped in the root canal.
The pulp can be damaged because of any of the following reasons:
Therefore, to protect your teeth from further damage, our endodontists will perform a root canal procedure. This procedure is normally done to remove the infected pulp and therefore salvage the decayed or damaged tooth.
When your pulp is infected, and you do not get treatment, it can lead to further complications such as:
All this happens when the pulp is inflamed or infected, leading to the accumulation of bacteria in the pulp chamber. Shortly after, you will notice that your gums are swollen because of pus. This is what is known as an abscess.
When the infection has reached this far, there is no other way to treat it other than performing a root canal. This means that the pulp will be removed.
Most people are generally worried about losing their dental pulp. However, your tooth can survive without the pulp. The pulp is mostly needed when the tooth is developing. After development, the nerves serve a purely sensory purpose. This is why you will be sensitive to hot and cold sensations. This means that if the pulp is removed, the tooth will continue functioning as it should.
Root canals are designed to alleviate pain and improve your oral health. The procedure is painless; however, you need to adhere to the pre-operative instructions such as:
The procedure may take anywhere between one and three visits. Typically, this is what happens:
The area around the affected tooth will be numbed so that the procedure can be pain-free. Then, the tooth will be drilled for access. Finally, the bacteria and the decayed debris will be removed.
The canal will be shaped after the dentist has confirmed that all the debris has been removed. Then, the canal will be flooded with a cleaning solution to ensure that it is disinfected. Gutta-percha, a rubber-like material, will be used to seal the canal.
After the pulp has been removed, your tooth will be even more fragile. Therefore, the best way to protect it from further damage would be to use a dental crown.
If you need a root canal treatment, you can contact our Lakewood dentist at Station Dental Group in Lakewood to schedule an appointment.