Root canals get a bad rap, and it’s not deserved. With the right pain medications, you can’t even feel a root canal, and this procedure provides a lot of pain relief for most patients. If you have an aching tooth or a large cavity, root canal therapy may be just what you need.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is like any other filling, but the work extends into the roots of the teeth. Basically, the dentist removes the decay from your tooth as well as any damaged pulp or nerves from that area. Then, the dentist puts the filling into the tooth. In some cases, that’s the end of the procedure, but if your tooth has a lot of damage, you may need a crown once the root canal is finished. A crown is simply a fake porcelain tooth that can go over an existing tooth to make it look brand new.
How Do You Tell If You Need a Root Canal?
For many patients, the first sign that they need a root canal is pain. Pain generally occurs because the nerves and blood vessels in your teeth have been damaged, and you may feel pain when you put pressure on the tooth or just in general. In other cases, the pain may be because the enamel of your tooth is chipped or broken and the exposed nerves are sensitive, especially when exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
However, just because you have a toothache does not necessarily mean that you need a root canal. In some cases, you may have pain due to a cavity that does not extend into your roots. To determine whether or not you need a root canal, your dentist will need to give you an X-ray. However, in some cases, the X-rays may look like a root canal is necessary, but once the dentist starts the work, he or she may realize that the decay is not as bad as expected and a regular filling will fix the issue just perfectly.
What Is the Process of a Root Canal?
In most cases, treating a root canal takes two appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist does your X-rays and talks about your options. Then, during the second appointment, the dentist does the work. It’s often possible to fill several cavities or do multiple root canals in a single appointment, but if you have widespread decay, it may take a few appointments to get all the work done.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
There is a lot of fear and misconceptions about root canals, but your dentist will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Generally, the dentist gives you a local anesthetic like a shot of novocaine to that area of your mouth. You can also opt to have nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, that helps to relax you during the procedure. If you are very anxious about the procedure, you may want to opt for sedation dentistry.
Think you need a root canal? Time for a routine checkup? Then contact Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry today. We are a cosmetic dentist located on Lawrenceville Suwanee Road, and we’d love to help you with your dental needs.