You’re laying in the dentist’s chair, fighting the dizzying pain of a cracked and broken tooth. Your dentist leans back, takes off his glasses, and says “Well, it looks like we’ll need to perform a root canal.”
How do you react? Do you sprint out the door as fast as possible? Shiver with the anticipation of even more pain? Cringe at the mere words?
If so, you’re not alone. Most people assume this type of therapy will be the most unpleasant and painful dental procedure they ever experience, but that’s far from the truth!
In reality, root canal therapy is a relatively quick and painless procedure. It’s an important procedure, too! Root canal therapy makes it possible to save a damaged or decaying tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
Browse through the most common root canal FAQs to learn more. You don’t need to fear that upcoming dentist appointment after all.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal isn’t the same as a root canal procedure. The root canal itself is part of the tooth. This hollow section of tooth holds blood vessels, nerves, and pulp cells. Root canal therapy becomes necessary when the canal is damaged by injury or decay.
The symptoms of a damaged root canal are easy to identify. Since the nerves held in the canal area are responsible for creating hot and cold sensations, your sensitivity to hot and cold becomes much worse if nerves in the root canal become exposed. When the canal’s blood vessels struggle to transport fresh blood that’s rich in oxygen and nutrients, infection or tissue death develops. Inflammation of the pulp, meanwhile, threatens the integrity of your entire tooth.
Root canal therapy is performed to remove the infected pulp, stop the spread of infection, and give your damaged tooth a second chance.
Does a Root Canal Hurt?
Thanks to highly effective dental anesthesia, you won’t feel a thing during your procedure. In fact, it helps you feel better almost immediately because it eliminates the source of your tooth pain, discomfort, and sensitivity. Root canal techniques have evolved dramatically in the past few decades, so you have nothing to worry about- only relief to look forward to!
Who Performs a Root Canal?
Your local dentist encinitas, santa fe can perform a root canal procedure after he assesses the extent of your tooth damage. Other specialists called endodontists exclusively perform root canals, but no other dental treatments. Most patients find it easiest to visit their normal dentist for this type of treatment.
What Are the Signs I Might Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is one of the final treatments that dentists use to prevent tooth loss and extraction. If veneers, Dental crowns, fillings, and other restorative dental procedures fail to restore the health of your tooth, a root canal in Encinitas, CA may be the best option. Especially if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms!
1. Excessive Sensitivity to Hot or Cold
Excessive sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures may indicate a serious problem. Do you experience those painful “zings” of sensitivity on a regular basis? Do they sometimes last more than 30 seconds? If so, a root canal may be the only way to alleviate the pain caused by exposed nerves in your tooth.
2. Sudden Discoloration of the Tooth
Healthy teeth are protected by white enamel. If your tooth starts showing unusual discoloration compared to surrounding teeth, it may be entering the final stages of decay. A grey or black tooth has to be saved quickly using a root canal to preserve what remains and prevent full extraction.
3. Chronic Jaw Pain
Tooth damage causes serious pain when you apply pressure to your jaw and gums. Headaches, ear pain, and jaw pain are all common signs of this issue. A root canal is the only procedure that can fully remove the infected tissue causing your pain and prevent future tooth death.
How Is Root Canal Therapy Performed?
The main goal of a root canal procedure is to save your natural tooth from extraction. It’s performed in four basic steps to help you escape pain and protect a full smile.
1. Clean the Root Canal Space
After your dentist at Ablantis Dental has administered a local anesthetic to numb all pain, he will isolate the tooth in need of a root canal to keep it clean and protected from saliva. You won’t feel anything as Dr. Cortadi makes a small opening in the crown of your tooth to clean and remove the dead or diseased pulp tissue inside.
You may wonder how it’s possible for your tooth to survive without its inner tissue. Though growing teeth rely on the pulp tissue for nourishment, fully developed teeth can survive by pulling essential nutrients from other surrounding tissues.
2. Fill the Root Canal With Gutta Percha
Once all signs of infected pulp are gone, your dentist will replace the pulp tissue, nerves, and blood vessels with a bio-compatible material like Gutta Percha. This rubber-like material safely fills the empty space and protects your tooth in the future.
3. Strengthen the Tooth With a Dental Crown or Filling
Once the gutta percha is placed, an adhesive is used to seal the Root Canal closed. This is followed by a filling or dental crown to strengthen the tooth. Though your tooth is technically “dead” at this point, it can still remain in your mouth and serve its most important purposes of helping you chew and talk. Since all infection has been removed and painful, exposed nerves are gone, you’ll be liberated from the pain that tooth once caused.
When Should I Schedule My Procedure?
The sooner your teeth receive the treatment they need, the better protected your smile remains. Don’t hesitate to call Dr. Claudia Cortadi and her team at Ablantis Dental to schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing extreme tooth pain, sudden symptoms of decay, chronic jaw pain, or other problems.
Dr. Cortadi is committed to helping her patients achieve and maintain the best oral health possible, so she’ll walk you through the root canal process and provide superior care from start to finish. Call (760) 642-6085 or visit Ablantis Dental online to schedule your Dental Crowns Encinitas Treatment today.