Sure, getting a root canal is no day at the beach. But the procedure, which can save your tooth, isn’t the torture it’s often made out to be, either. That’s good news for the estimated 15 million patients in the US each year who need a root canal.
The dental professionals at Just For Your Smile believe knowledge is the best way to eliminate fear. Here’s why they want you to know about root canals.
What is a root canal procedure?
To understand what a root canal is, you should know a little about tooth anatomy.
Each tooth contains an enamel cap (the white part of the tooth you see), and dentin, the hard layer beneath the enamel. Beneath the enamel and dentin lies the pulp, soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
The pulp in your tooth can become inflamed and infected because of decay or a crack or chip in your tooth. When the pulp becomes diseased, a root canal removes it and cures the infection.
Symptoms that might indicate you need a root canal include:
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Pain while biting and chewing
- Pimples on the gums
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swollen or tender gums
- Deep decay
- Darkening of gums
What happens during a root canal
The good news is that an adult tooth doesn’t need pulp to survive. That’s why a root canal can remove the pulp and restore the tooth to health.
Root canals are an in-office procedure where our dental professional drills a small hole in the tooth to access the pulp. They remove the pulp, clean the space inside the tooth, and then fill the space with a biocompatible material. Last, they fill the drill hole and, if your enamel is weak or cracked, they put a crown on your tooth.
You won’t feel pain
A root canal is a serious procedure, but you won’t feel pain during the treatment. Before you undergo your root canal, the dentist numbs the area so you won’t feel anything. The area will remain numb for a few hours after your treatment.
Your mouth may be sensitive for a few days following a root canal, but over-the-counter pain medications should relieve your discomfort. If you feel severe pain, contact our office immediately.
Don’t let fear prevent you from protecting your dental health. If you’ve been told that an infected tooth needs a root canal, call our Just For Your Smile office in Vienna, Virginia, at 703-592-8491, or request an appointment using our online booking tool. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.