Root canals of the past were more than likely painful experiences and the jokes about them were probably true. But that was then…this is now. Today’s dental advances ensure that there is little, if any, pain involved with a root canal. Teeth can be saved and treated with root canal therapy and the good news is, the procedure can be completed in a couple of visits.
Do you need a root canal?
A deep cavity or an injury may cause one of your teeth to crack, leaving it open for infection. This can damage the pulp, the network of nerves and blood vessels surrounding the root, and may even damage the bone surrounding the tooth, resulting in swelling and pain. If left untreated, bacteria and decaying food particles can enter the tooth and cause a serious infection or abscess. This could lead to bone loss and loss of the tooth itself. Symptoms to watch for are swollen gums, severe toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and swelling of your face and neck.
Root canal therapy (endodontic treatment) is designed to save a damaged tooth instead of removing it. It involves opening the tooth, removing the infected pulp, cleaning the canals inside the root, and filling and sealing the tooth. Alternatives include extracting the damaged tooth and replacing it with a dental implant, bridge or removable partial denture.
X-rays are taken at your first visit to determine the extent of the damage. There are mild sedatives available which you can take just prior to your dental visit which can make the experience more pleasant if you are fearful. You will receive a local anesthetic prior to the root canal procedure and if the infection is severe, your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic before your appointment. If you follow good oral hygiene, your restored tooth could last a lifetime.
If you would like to learn more about root canal therapy or are experiencing dental pain, call to book an appointment, today: 414-377-5711.