When people hear the words “root canal”, they often are struck with fear. Root canals have a bad reputation that they haven’t earned. They’re not a procedure you need to fear. The team at Tryon Family Dentistry, a dentist in Zebulon, Cary, and Raleigh, NC, describes the root canal process and why it’s nothing to be afraid of.
What is a Root Canal?
Technically, the root canal is a part of your tooth. It’s the hollow portion inside your tooth that holds the dental pulp and nerves. However, when people talk about a root canal, they normally mean a root canal procedure. This is done when an infection gets into that dental pulp and needs to be removed.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
Some patients don’t even realize that they have an infection until their dentist finds it during a routine cleaning and checkup. They have no symptoms and it’s unknown until it’s found by an experienced eye. Otherwise, the most common symptom is pain. It’s usually sharp and sudden in your tooth, made worse by biting or chewing.
Tooth sensitivity is also common when you’re consuming hot or cold food and beverages. The gums around the particular tooth are often inflamed and swollen. You may also notice that the infected tooth itself is discolored. This is due to the infection inside the tooth often making it darker.
The Root Canal Process
When your dentist diagnoses you with an infection, your dentist will schedule a separate appointment for your root canal procedure. To start, we use a local anesthetic to numb the entire surrounding area near your tooth. Once we’re sure you’re comfortable, we can begin the actual procedure.
First, a small hole is drilled into the back of your tooth. This provides access to the inside of your tooth. Using special instruments, the dentist will scrape out the infected material inside your tooth. Once we’re sure the infected material is removed, the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. It’s filled with a biocompatible material that replaces the infected pulp.
Usually, a dental crown is used to complete the process. It helps to seal the tooth to prevent further infection and provide stabilization to the tooth. We want to make sure that the full functionality of your tooth is restored after a root canal.
The pain that many people reference when it comes to a root canal is actually the pain of the infection itself. An infection in the dental pulp causes pain and pressure on your tooth. Many patients say that a root canal doesn’t feel like anything more than a dental filling. Your pain may also be relieved immensely once the infected material is removed from the tooth.
Root Canals at Your Zebulon, Cary, and Raleigh North Carolina Dentist
Do you think that you may have an infected tooth that needs taken care of? Call us or schedule an appointment online.