The Root canal: while it is often intimidating for a patient who has never experienced this procedure, there really is nothing to fear! Millions of teeth are saved every year through this innovative and straightforward procedure. If your dentist or endodontist has recommended this treatment, they’ve done so for a very good reason: they want to save your tooth! What is a root canal? Read on to learn everything you need to know about this endodontic procedure.
The Root Canal: Reasons and Treatment
A root canal treatment is a medical procedure that treats the tooth pulp and nerve of the tooth. The pulp of the tooth may become infected or inflamed due to a bacterial infection, deep decay of the tooth, or a chip/crack/damage to the tooth. During the growth and development of a tooth, the pulp (comprised of connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels) is a necessary facet because it facilitates the healthy growth and maturation of the tooth. The pulp sits beneath the white enamel and the hard layer known as dentin.
Why is a Root Canal Necessary?
Damage to the tooth can ultimately result in pain, an abscess beneath the tooth, and an eventual loss of the tooth. The dentist removes the inflamed/infected tooth pulp with specialized tools , then judiciously cleans the inside of the canal. The endodontist will then shape and seal the space to prevent any further bacterial growth, infection, or inflammation. After the procedure, a dentist will then perform restorative work (cosmetic dentistry) on the tooth, which may include a crown. The tooth will look brand new! Dentists are able to match the color of the crown to the rest of your teeth, so no one will be able to tell that you’ve had crown-work or a root canal done.
Does a Root Canal Hurt?
While many people think of pain when they think of root canals, this is very far from the truth. Dentists use a healthy dose of local anesthetic to numb the pain of the root canal. At most, you’ll feel some discomfort during the procedure; pain during a root canal is not typical. Your dentist will do their utmost to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure, and keep in mind: root canals are no more painful than any other dental procedure. A dentist may schedule a follow-up a few weeks down the road just to make sure the procedure was a success.
After the Root Canal
There may be some mild discomfort a few days after the procedure: this is normal and the pain can be treated with doctor-prescribed medication or over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. Root canals, on average, have over a 95% success rate and will last a lifetime if you take proper care of your teeth. Try and avoid unnecessary pressure and biting-down on the tooth a few weeks after the procedure.
Dentist New Jersey
Looking for root canal therapy in New Jersey? Our staff is highly equipped to tackle any and all dental procedures and we would love help keep your teeth in tip-top shape! If you are a new patient, ask about our new patient special!