What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that involves the removal of the soft tissue that’s inside of your tooth, which is called pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels and is responsible for the growth of your teeth. If this pulp becomes infected or otherwise damaged, it may need to be removed via a root canal to maintain your mouth’s health and alleviate pain in the affected tooth.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
There are several reasons why a root canal may be necessary for you. Common ways that the pulp in your tooth can become damaged and warrant a root canal include:
- Decay from an untreated cavity
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Tooth injuries without cracks or chips
- Excessive dental work on a tooth
Symptoms of damaged or infected pulp to watch out for include:
- Tooth pain
- Swelling in your gums
- Heat sensation in your gums
To confirm your need for a root canal, your dentist will need to take an X-ray of your mouth and examine the affected tooth closely. Without a root canal, you might lose the tooth.
How is a Root Canal Performed?
There are several steps to a root canal procedure. Many patients assume that it will be painful, but that isn’t necessarily the case. You’ll be awake but won’t feel anything while your dentist works.
At your appointment, your dentist begins by injecting your gum with the anesthesia, which will make your mouth numb. Your dentist makes a small opening in the top of your tooth to carefully remove the damaged pulp and clean the inside of your tooth. Then, the tooth and surrounding area will be coated in an antibiotic to prevent your tooth from getting infected. Finally, your tooth will be filled and sealed, so you aren’t left with a gaping hole vulnerable to more damage.
If you have severe tooth pain, a root canal might be necessary for you to keep the tooth if it’s infected. To find out if you need a root canal, call or schedule an appointment online at one of Aesthetic Dental Centers’ four locations.