A root canal removes the pulp inside of a tooth that has been damaged by decay, trauma, or inflammation. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that helps a tooth grow and function normally.
If the pulp gets infected or inflamed, it can cause pain and swelling in the surrounding areas of the mouth. If the infection continues, it can spread into the bone and cause a serious problem called an abscess. Symptoms may include intense or chronic toothache, extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods or liquids, dark discoloration of the tooth, and tenderness and swelling in the gums around the tooth.
Your dentist will diagnose the problem and take X-rays of the tooth to confirm that the pulp has been infected. Once diagnosed, a Sarasota Root Canal specialist can treat the tooth by removing the infected pulp, disinfecting and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection.
A Root Canal Treatment: What to Expect
Before your endodontic procedure, a local anesthetic is administered. After numbness is achieved, the area is covered with a protective sheet (a dental dam) to keep it dry.
The dentist or endodontist removes infected tissue from the pulp chamber and roots of your tooth, then disinfects, fills and seals your tooth. A crown or other restoration is then placed to protect the tooth and restore it to full function.
Performing A Root Canal
The most common reason for needing a root canal is when the pulp tissue is severely damaged by injury or decay. This can be caused by a sports injury, an accident, or even extensive dental work that isn’t completed properly. In some cases, multiple dental procedures can lead to problems with the pulp tissue, and if left untreated, the pulp tissue may be irreversibly damaged.
In severe cases, the pulp tissue may die, or it could become infected and spread. When the pulp tissue dies, it’s called irreversible pulpitis.
A root canal is the best way to save a tooth that has irreversible pulpitis. It can be performed on a child’s tooth as well as an adult’s tooth.
Root canals are not as painful as some people think, as a local anesthetic is usually administered to relax your nerves before the procedure. After the procedure, you’ll experience some soreness and sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink for a few days. Click here for more information.
What to do After a Root Canal
Once your root canal has been completed, you’ll have to continue following the normal oral hygiene routine as usual, and see your doctor at regular intervals. Your dentist will give you specific instructions to help you care for your new, healthy tooth and reduce your sensitivity.
A tooth that has undergone a root canal should last you a lifetime, provided you follow proper oral hygiene habits and make regular visits to your dentist. It’s also highly likely that your insurance provider will cover part of the cost of a root canal.