Getting to the Root Cause
Use the term, “root canal,” and many folks start shaking. “Oh no, anything but that!” So…when was the last time you had a root canal? Times have changed and so have root canal procedures.
Maybe you’ve been putting off a visit to the dentist because you fear you may need a root canal. Well fear no more and put your mind at ease by calling to schedule an examination and a cleaning of your teeth. Let’s start there and see what needs to be done. How’s that?
Why Would I Need Root Canal Therapy?Have you ever had an abscessed tooth? If so, you know the throbbing pain and swollen gums that go along with it and the inevitable trip to the dentist for what usually turns out to be a root canal.
In the not too long ago past, the term “root canal,” brought to mind painful images – but not anymore! Root canal therapy has definitely “grown up” into a far less fearful procedure and is no more painful that getting a tooth filled! In fact, the purpose of a root canal is to relieve pain, not cause it!
In very simple terms, a root canal removes infected tissue from the roots of the tooth beneath the gums. This is done to:
- Save the part of the tooth above the gums
- Minimize the risk of further damage
- Prevent loss of the tooth entirely, requiring more
extensive and expensive treatment.
What’s the Procedure?
Depending on the severity of the infection, the dentist may prescribe an antibiotic for the infection prior to performing the actual procedure.
The root canal procedure then begins with the administration of a local anesthetic. Next, the dentist removes the damaged or infected nerve tissue and fills the infected root with an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection. The tooth root is then packed with filling material. Finally, the tooth is capped with a crown to protect it, because of weakness and instability resulting from damage caused by the infection.
The entire process typically takes place over several visits.
Experiencing Pain or Need More Information?
If you are feeling moderate to severe tooth pain and notice swelling of your gums beneath the affected tooth, call a dentist right away and schedule an immediate appointment to get out of pain fast.
Delay is dangerous in this case because the infection will continue to cause additional damage that could lead to tooth loss and the need for more serious and expensive treatment.
Participating dentists in your area are skilled in pain-free root canal therapy, so there is no need to put off treatment. They are there to help you get out of pain fast!