What Is A Root Canal?
Each tooth has roots that have canals that contain pulp, blood, nerves, and connective tissues. When a breach in a tooth occurs due to trauma, a fracture, or extensive decay, bacteria can enter the roots leading to inflammation or infection. Once the tooth’s roots have been damaged, there are two options … a root canal or extraction.
A root canal begins with a dental x-ray to determine the number of roots involved and their placement. The tooth is anesthetized and a rubber dam is placed to segregate the tooth to keep it dry. An access point is created in the tooth and endodontic files are used to remove the contents of the canals.
If infection is present, an antibiotic may be prescribed or placed. The dentist may elect to wait to seal the access point to guarantee infection has healed. When infection is cured, the canals are packed with gutta percha (a plastic material), and the access point can be permanently sealed. In many cases a dental crown is the best option to complete root canal treatment.
How Will I Feel Following Root Canal Treatment?
If you’ve ever had a cavity filled, the minimal discomfort you may feel is about the same for a root canal. If your root canal is completed earlier in the day, you most certainly can return to work or school the same day. Your mouth will be numb for a few hours so speaking may be impacted, and you should wait to eat until the anesthetic has worn off.
If your dental appointment is later in the day, or if there were any unanticipated problems such as difficult to access roots, your procedure may take a little longer and your dentist may recommend you return home to rest for the remainder of the day.
Root canal therapy is a valuable dental procedure that allows your dentist to save a tooth that otherwise would require extraction. Whenever possible, your dentist will most always recommend saving a natural tooth with a root canal over tooth loss.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact our team at Tate Family Dentistry today.