There’s tooth pain, and then there’s a painful tooth. If you have a tooth that has become darkened, is very sensitive to cold or heat, or you have swelling and tenderness of the gums near one of your teeth, you may require a root canal. This is a procedure to repair and save a damaged or a badly infected tooth, which involves cleaning out and filling the canals inside the root of the tooth. The highly skilled team at Erik P. Cadra DMD are ready to provide you with the best possible care and restore your tooth to its full function and excellent appearance with a root canal.
How Did I Get Here?
Usually, root canal procedures are not an overnight decision. Like many dental procedures, the problems with a tooth develop over time. Most of the time, dental patients need a root canal because of an infected tooth, and most tooth infections begin with a cavity.
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Some bacteria are considered good and healthy because they help your body break down food and absorb nutrients. By using good dental practices such as brushing and flossing, you’re able to get rid of a lot of the bacteria that could cause tooth decay and gum disease.
If a tooth has a lot of bacteria that remains on the tooth rather than being flushed away with good brushing and flossing, the bacteria can create holes in your tooth. The holes are tiny, almost microscopic at first, but over time, the hole grows larger and larger. Eventually, the hole can be deep enough to get to the center of your tooth, which is soft and full of nerves and blood vessels. If the bacteria reaches your tooth pulp, it causes an infection. This is the time a root canal may be needed to save your tooth.
Why it is Needed
If a root canal problem is not promptly treated, the bacteria in the infected inner pulp of the tooth can travel into the tooth root, jaw tissue, gums, and even your other teeth.
This can lead to an abscess, which will require urgent treatment. An abscess can also cause infection and inflammation in other parts of the body. A root canal may be the only way to save your tooth from becoming so diseased a dentist has no choice but to remove it.
Although the exterior of a tooth is hard and durable, the inside is made of soft, living tissue. This tissue can be infected with damaging bacteria. Whenever possible, saving your natural tooth is preferred, rather than having an extraction. A root canal treatment will also alleviate pain and help avoid more complicated and expensive future procedures.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Endodontic means the internal part of the tooth. Under the hard exterior enamel is the pulp, which is a soft material made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. A developing tooth needs the pulp in order to grow, but a mature tooth can survive without it. This is because the ligament that attaches the tooth to the jawbone can adequately nourish it. During a root canal procedure, the dentist will numb the area around your tooth so that you can’t feel your tooth. After numbing your tooth in the same manner used for cavity filling, our endodontist will make a small incision in the top of the tooth to clean out the infection. They will then fill the resulting space with a soft rubber like material, which seals the canals. With the bacteria and infection gone, so is the danger to the surrounding area.
The possibility of an abscess is eliminated, as are future related problems. With the removal of the tooth’s nerves, the pain is gone. Over time, a tooth which has had an endodontic procedure will become brittle, and will need an extra measure of protection, so the next step is to add a crown, especially if your tooth is very damaged and weakened from the treatment for the infection. If that is the case, you will be fitted with a temporary crown until a permanent crown can be made. Permanent crowns are usually made of a porcelain top and a metal cap to protect your tooth from any further damage. Once the permanent crown is in place, it will look and appear like an actual tooth, so no one will know the difference between a tooth that has been crowned and your other teeth.
From Painful to Painless
An endodontic treatment is a pain relief treatment. Any pain associated with the phrase “root canal” has to do with the condition that requires the treatment, not the treatment itself. The procedure is relatively painless, and is a similar experience to getting a conventional filling.
You should be able to resume normal chewing and bite pressure after a few days. Your restored tooth may provide a slightly different type of sensation than your other teeth at first, but you should be completely pain free.
If you are looking for the best endodontic treatment, Erik P. Cadra DMD is your first choice. Call your valencia dentist at 661-259-7272 for more information about root canal therapy.