When the pulp and root of your tooth become damaged, diseased, or decayed, you may need a root canal. Root canal therapy is a restorative treatment that helps to repair, stabilize, and preserve your tooth.
Why do I need a root canal?
Although the exterior of your tooth is firm, the inside is filled with soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves that keep it healthy and alive. When the pulp gets badly infected, root canal therapy can be used to clean and restore it.
There are several contributing factors as to why your pulp might get infected:
- A cavity is not treated soon enough
- Multiple dental treatments have inflamed the tooth’s sensitive pulp tissue
- A fracture or crack to the exterior of the tooth
- A direct blow or injury to the tooth
If left untreated, an abscess may develop inside of your tooth, or in the tissues surrounding it. If this is left untreated, it can lead to a mouth pain, serious infection, and even your tooth falling out.
What should I expect during a root canal?
A root canal usually takes two appointments to complete. During your initial appointment, we will use x-rays to clearly determine the extent of the infection. We will then numb the tooth and the area around it with a local anesthesia. If necessary, we may isolate the tooth with a latex tool to keep it dry and protected. Once you are fully numb, we will begin removing any damaged and decayed tissue. We will also remove the nerve of the tooth, and thoroughly clean out the cavity.
When everything has been thoroughly cleaned, we will seal off the cavity to prevent any future infection from developing. During your second appointment, we will place a dental crown over your restored tooth. This crown will be crafted to look like your other teeth, and will function like a natural tooth.
What do I do after my root canal?
After the procedure, the pain and discomfort you were experiencing from your infection should be gone. You may feel a bit of tenderness in the area of the procedure, but you can use over-the-counter pain medications for relief. It is important to stay on top of your after-care. This involves returning for your follow-up appointment. This appointment will allow us to make sure that everything is healing properly and to place your dental crown.
Only a dental professional can definitively say if you need a root canal or not. However, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or are concerned about your tooth, come see us immediately. A root canal can help save your tooth and restore the health of your smile. To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call at 614-870-3337.