Did your dentist recently tell you that you need a root canal? You’ve come to the right place! At Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Anderson, we’re your South Carolina general dentists and experts in all things root canals. And while root canals get a bad rap, there’s no reason to be concerned if you’ve been told you need one. With today’s techniques, root canal treatment is nothing like it used to be and can be done in one or two appointments without pain. So whether you’re looking for relief from extreme tooth pain or you’ve received a dental diagnosis, read on. In this post, your Anderson dentists will share:
- What is a root canal?
- How to tell if you need a root canal
- What happens during a root canal treatment
- Do root canals hurt?
What is a Root Canal?
In order to understand what a root canal is, let’s start with a little tooth anatomy lesson. The outside surface of your teeth is called the enamel and the innermost layer is called the dentin. The soft tissue at the center of the tooth is called the pulp and contains the nerve, blood vessels and connective tissue. These blood vessels carry nutrients to the tooth. The root sits within the bone socket, securing the tooth to the jaw, and has canals that also contain blood vessels and nerve fibers to carry nutrition to your teeth. If these vessels and nerves become infected, they can cause severe tooth pain and tooth decay.
A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to treat infected and damaged teeth, all while saving the natural tooth structure. During a root canal treatment, the pulp and the bacteria that caused the infection are removed, relieving pain and keeping the tooth intact. If the infection is left untreated, you may need to have the tooth removed. The infection may also spread to other areas of the mouth, causing more dental and health concerns.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Root canals are designed to remove tooth infection, which is often the result of a deep cavity, problems with a previous filling, a cracked or injured tooth, or genetics. The only way to know for sure if you need a root canal is to visit your local dentist for an evaluation, but there are a few signs you can identify at home that may indicate that you need a root canal treatment. Symptoms may include:
- Intense tooth pain when chewing or biting
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Severe sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks that lingers after the stimulant is gone
- Pimples on the gums
- Darkening of the gums
- Drainage from the affected tooth
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact our Anderson dental office to book an appointment. While root canals are a routine procedure, they are a serious one that require immediate attention.
Root Canal Procedure
So how does a root canal procedure work? First, your dentist will use anesthesia to numb the affected area so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. Then, they will remove the infected tissue within the tooth and disinfect the canal. Finally, they will fill the canal and seal it off to prevent further infection.
Fortunately, a root canal treatment can usually be completed in one or two appointments and will last a lifetime. However, if you experience any infection or pain after root canal, come see us for a follow-up.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Root canals have a reputation for being painful and unpleasant. But thanks to modern technology and techniques, root canal treatment is now relatively painless and extremely effective. That said, while the use of anesthetics means you won’t feel a thing during the procedure, you may experience some numbness or mild discomfort post-treatment. We recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or Advil to relieve pain for the first few days.
How to Prevent Root Canal Treatment
As we always say, prevention is better than treatment. By taking proper care of your teeth and gums, you can keep bacteria at bay, preventing infection and reducing your risk of needing a root canal. So floss once per day, brush your teeth twice a day, limit your intake of sugary food and drinks, and visit your Anderson dentist every six months for a routine cleaning. These simple steps will help keep your smile healthy and strong for years to come.
Due for a dentist appointment? Think you might need a root canal? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Anderson today.