Having a root canal treatment performed is easier and better than ever before. You might need to have a root canal done to save a damaged tooth from extraction and replaced with a dental restoration. Your teeth are typically better than a tooth replacement option, which is why your dentist works with you to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Why a Root Canal
Sometimes, even with care, a tooth can encounter problems, whether because of poor oral hygiene, trauma, or injury. When harmful bacterial plaque is not removed daily, it builds up and hardens around teeth and gums (tartar). If you have a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, or problems with a former filling, a root canal treatment can take care of that for you.
With a root canal, we can safely remove the inflamed or infected tooth pulp located inside your damaged tooth. Any decay will be completely removed, and the tooth thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Then it will receive a filling material before being sealed to keep out further decay. A root canal treatment is generally quick, and you will be made as comfortable as comfortable. In fact, a root canal treatment is much like getting a dental filling and is generally completed within one to two visits.
Relieving Tooth Pain
While people often put off having a root canal or fear having one, remember that a damaged tooth will only get worse if left untreated, and modern techniques, tools, and anesthesia can make you as comfortable as possible. We always emphasize that the goal of the root canal is to relieve you of that tooth pain. Just ask someone who has had one in recent years. Millions of root canals are done every year to save damaged teeth!
What’s Inside Your Tooth
If you were to see inside your tooth, you would look past your tooth enamel to see the hard dentin layer below. Under the dentin is where the tooth pulp (a soft, pulpy tissue) resides. Within this tissue lies your tooth’s blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that anchor the tooth to the bone, including the tooth root. These root canals act like the branches of a tree, and once a tooth is fully established, it can function without the pulp as the tooth receives its nourishment from the surrounding tissues.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
- It hurts when you bite or chew
- You have cysts on your gums
- Chipped/cracked teeth
- You feel extreme sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks
- Your gums are swollen, painful and darker
- Severe tooth decay
- Deep decay
What Happens After Your Root Canal
Once the root canal treatment is completed, you will need a crown or other dental restoration to keep the tooth safe and bring back its function to bite and chew. As the area heals, you might have some sensitivity or mild soreness for a few days. It is treatable with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
After the restoration is done, the tooth will look and feel like your own tooth. The tooth will not only look natural (no missing tooth) but will keep the nearby teeth healthy without them wearing down as they would if they had to compensate for a missing tooth. We hope you feel encouraged to get that root canal if you have a damaged tooth that needs help. Our endodontic team is here to help you restore your healthy smile!