A root canal, or endodontic treatment, is a fairly common procedure that can help save a severely decaying tooth by removing the infection from the pulp chamber within the tooth.
When is a Root Canals Needed?
There are several different reasons why a root canal may be needed including:
- Damage to the pulp chamber causing inflammation or infected tissues within the tooth
- Infection and inflammation caused by gum disease, decay or a severe trauma
- Damaged pulp building up inside of the tooth causing pain and discomfort
- Prolonged decay
Depending on the severity of the damage or decay, scheduling your root canal procedure may or may not be emergency. Your dentist will work with you to address the pain and schedule your root canal appointment as quickly as deemed necessary.
What are the Typical Steps in a Root Canal Procedure?
- First, local anesthesia is applied to numb the surrounding areas of the tooth. An oral sedative may also be prescribed to ease any patient nerves or discomfort.
- Then, your dentist will drill directly into the tooth to access the main pulp chamber and infected area.
- Next, all decay and infected tissues are removed.
- The tooth is then disinfected, filled with filling material and sealed.
Benefits of a Root Canal
The main benefit of undergoing a root canal procedure is immediate pain relief. A tooth that is affected with a severe infection and requires a root canal can cause a number of oral health issues if left untreated. The longer the problem is ignored, the greater the tooth sensitivity and pain that can develop.
Root Canal Post-Procedure Care
Aftercare for a root canal may include:
- Taking antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Taking pain medication to dull the pain after the treat
- Completing a follow-up procedure using radiographic technology to make sure the tooth is fully sealed and healing well.
As decay and inflammation cannot always be easily seen, or felt, by the patient it is important that you communicate and changes in sensitivity or tooth-related pain to your dentist. Your dentist will be the one who determines whether or not you need a root canal. If you are unsure about the cause of pain within your mouth you should schedule a consultation with your Westend Dental dentist or discuss your concerns at an upcoming appointment.