Chances are, you’ve heard at least one person say, “I’d rather have a root canal than [fill in the blank with something awful].” But that fact of the matter is, the pain that brings you in to the dentist is far worse than the root canal itself. With a local anesthetic give before the procedure, you are unlikely to feel any pain at all.
Root canals may not be fun, but they don’t have to be scary—especially if you know what to expect.
Dealing With Damaged or Diseased Pulp
Inside the root of each tooth is a hollow chamber, or canal, that contains a network of tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. The part of the root is what relays sensory information, which is why it causes you to feel pain when it is injured or damaged. Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the main reasons for damage to the pulp.
During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged or diseased pulp, then seal off the canal to prevent the infection from spreading.
Cleaning the Root Canal
The root canal will cleaned out, with all bacteria, tooth fragments, and tissue being removed. Antiseptic along with antibiotics are injected into the root canal to kill any bacteria that might be remaining. The process usually takes two to three office visits. During the first visit, the endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with dental pulp and nerves) will inject a local anesthetic. He or she will drill a hole in your tooth and remove the decayed or diseased pulp.
When the canal and chamber are dried, they are filled with a material that will replace the pulp. A crown is generally put on top of the remaining tooth structure. This not only protects and strengthens the tooth—weakened after the pulp has been removed—but ensures you have complete function of the tooth.
Root Canals Preserve Teeth
In the past, before root canal treatments became commonplace, teeth would often have to be pulled if the pulp became infected. Not only would people have to live with the pain of infection, but they would have to deal with tooth as well. Root canals may not be fun—but they save teeth!
If you need root canal therapy in Mt. Pleasant, SC, call Dr. Jason Annan at East Cooper Smiles today!