Even if you don’t know much about root canals, you have probably heard enough to hope you never need them. However, about 15 million root canals are performed each year, according to The American Association of Endodontists.
What is a root canal?
Root canals are the natural cavity in the center of a tooth. A root canal procedure is used to repair a tooth that is decayed or infected. When a tooth’s pulp is damaged, bacteria begin to multiply within the tooth, causing an infection or abscessed tooth. Root canal procedures remove the damaged pulp and infected area to restore the tooth to healthy function.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
Symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal include toothaches, sensitivity, discoloration, swelling, or a recurring pimple on the gums. It is important that if you experience any of these symptoms you call to schedule an appointment with the Dental Care Center immediately so that we can assess and treat the issue.
What happens during a root canal?
To perform a root canal, your dentist will drill an access hole into the tooth to remove the pulp, bacteria, and decayed nerve tissue. While the word “drill” may instantly make you cringe, it is important to know that the tooth may have already lost feeling and that anesthesia can be used to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. After the bacteria and pulp are removed, a series of files are placed into the access hole and worked down into the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals, cleaning them.
Once clean, the tooth is sealed. Depending on your case, the tooth may be sealed in a subsequent appointment or sealed directly after it is cleaned out. If the root canal is not completed within a single appointment, a temporary filling will be placed in the tooth until the next appointment.
To fill the interior of the tooth, a sealer paste and rubber compound are placed into the tooth’s root canal. A filling is placed to fill the exterior hole.
A final step typically includes the restoration of the tooth. This usually involves a crown to protect the tooth, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to full function.
While it may sound like a lot, at our Dental Care Center locations we will always take the time to make you feel comfortable and at ease. For any questions or concerns regarding root canal procedures do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your Dental Care Center dentist right away.