Roots canals have long been a staple of comedy, with many people viewing this procedure as one of the most painful in all of dentistry. While this may have been true in the past, the modern root canal is actually a simple and easy process that is relatively pain-free.
A root canal is a full cleaning and filling of a tooth to preserve as much of the structure as possible following severe damage and decay. It is common to need a root canal if the interior of a tooth is dying or if a cavity has been allowed to develop to the point where an abscess or infection has formed.
As with any other dental procedure, you will first have a meeting with your dentist to determine whether or not a root canal is right for you. Once a decision is made, the dentist will take x-rays to determine the extent of a tooth’s infection or decay. Antibiotics will usually be prescribed to help treat the infection before the procedure begins.
During the root canal, an anesthetic will be used to numb the area around the tooth. A rubber dental dam is then placed around the tooth to keep the area clean while the infection is removed. Next, a small hole is drilled through the top to reach the damaged pulp inside. All of the blood vessels and nerves are removed to alleviate pain, and the pulp is scraped out. The entire tooth is then sanitized to prevent future infection.
Next, flexible dental files are used to shape the roots that connect to the jawbone. These help the dentist fill and seal the space, so a future infection doesn’t occur. A paste material called gutta-percha is then used to fill and seal the tooth. In many cases, a temporary crown is placed on the top until a permanent one is ready for placement.
Here at All About Family Dentistry, we offer root canals for individuals struggling with tooth pain and decay. Give us a call or fill out one of our forms online to schedule an appointment if you think you might need a root canal.