Getting a root canal may sound scary, but with modern dental techniques and technology, root canals are one of the most successful and pain-free procedures you can get.
Toothaches are painful, and can distract you from living your best life. They can also be a sign of a serious infection. Fortunately, root canal therapy can provide you with the relief you need, and with modern techniques, you won’t feel a thing. Root canals can help restore the health of your tooth, and save you from a tooth extraction down the road.
A root canal can save you from requiring a more invasive procedure, like an extraction.
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Instantly alleviate your toothache by clearing out any infected or decayed material.
Left untreated, infection can spread to other parts of your mouth, and even the rest of your body.
Restore the health of your tooth, and avoid the need for a more drastic procedure like an extraction.
To find the source of your dental pain, your dentist will begin by performing a comprehensive exam and review of your x-rays to get a complete picture of your oral health. If your tooth is infected, they will determine the extent of the infection to decide if root canal therapy will be an effective treatment. If you end up needing a root canal, your dentist will begin the therapy by numbing the treatment site, all the way down to the nerves. Your dentist will discuss sedation options with you before starting the procedure.
Once you’re comfortable and fully numbed, your dentist will begin the process of removing any decayed or infected material. Beginning with the enamel, your dentist will move inwards, toward the pulp. Once the infected pulp has been cleared out, the canals will be cleaned and the area will be flushed with a special disinfectant to eliminate any remaining infection.
Once your tooth has been completely cleaned and sanitized, the interior will be filled with a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha.” An inert material, gutta-percha replaces the extracted pulp and helps to support the tooth and maintain its structure. Once the interior of the tooth has been filled, it will be restored with either a filling or a dental crown, depending on the extent of the decay, and how much healthy enamel remains.
No! Although it’s a common myth that root canal therapy hurts, it’s actually the toothache caused by infection that is painful. With modern dental techniques and technology, a root canal is no more uncomfortable than getting a dental filling.
Not only will your mouth be numbed completely, but you can also opt to be sedated during the procedure. Overall, root canal therapy is the best way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of an infected tooth.
Root canal therapy is required if your tooth becomes infected, which most often happens one of two ways:
If left untreated, either situation will lead to the infection, decay, and eventual death of your tooth’s pulp. When the infection starts to take hold, you’ll likely begin experiencing an array of symptoms like a toothache, inflamed gums near the tooth, and tooth sensitivity.
Although it’s rare, root canal treatment can fail. If there is any remaining bacteria or decay left behind that wasn’t removed during the initial root canal, the tooth infection may return. If this happens to you, you’ll need to have another root canal to ensure the infection is completely removed and doesn’t have a chance to return again. Regular follow ups aid in assessing the outcome of root canal therapy and should be done at least on a yearly basis to monitor any changes.
Root canal therapy is usually covered, at least in part, by most dental insurance plans. However, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with your insurance provider to gain a thorough understanding of your benefits, and to find out what type of treatments are covered.
While crowns are generally the best way to protect your tooth after a root canal, and are always the recommendation for your posterior teeth, they are not always necessary. If there is enough enamel left on front teeth that have gotten a root canal, a filling may be used instead of a crown.