Root canal therapy doesn’t have the best reputation. Thanks to old movies and TV shows, many patients believe that the procedure is painful. Fortunately, this is far from the truth! Root canal therapy works by saving infected and otherwise damaged teeth from extraction and relieving discomfort in the process. Our dentists at Eguren Dentistry perform root canal therapy in Edmonton to remove damaged tissues and leave you with a good-as-new tooth. Contact our office to learn more!
Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
When nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. This occurs when the infection spreads past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection of a tooth can cause:
- Severe dental pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Swollen and tender gum tissue
- Discoloration of the tooth
- A pimple-like bump on your gums
Root canal therapy works by removing the infected nerve and pulp from the interior of your tooth. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with us. This way, we can examine your smile and determine whether root canal therapy is an ideal solution for you.
The Root Canal Process
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, you will first be administered a local anesthetic to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout your treatment. You shouldn’t feel a thing. Next, a small hole is made in the enamel to remove all the infected and damaged tissues from inside the tooth. Afterward, we will clean and sanitize the tooth to ensure that it is free from bacteria. The tooth will then be filled with a biocompatible material, and a dental crown is often placed to keep your underlying tooth safe from additional damage.
A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot and cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
The Benefits of Getting a Root Canal
Root canal therapy is a safe way to prevent dental problems in the future. Here are some of the benefits:
- Preserves the tooth: When compared to tooth extractions, opting for root canal therapy can save you time, money, and complications.
- Stop harmful bacteria: Root canal therapy effectively clears away harmful bacteria that are causing you pain and discomfort.
- Painless treatment: It may not have the best reputation, but root canal therapy is virtually pain-free! It’s about as comfortable as getting a standard filling and requires much less healing time than an extraction.
Root Canal FAQs
Our team here at Eguren Dentistry understands that you might have some initial questions about root canal therapy that you’d like answered before you’re comfortable with committing to the treatment. Though it might sound like a complicated procedure, it’s actually a relatively straightforward process that’s designed to alleviate discomfort and give your compromised tooth the help it needs. We’ve gathered a few of the most frequently asked questions that we receive about root canals along with their respective answers for your convenience. Of course, if you have any additional questions about root canals, feel free to give us a call for assistance!
Are Root Canals Painful?
Getting a root canal isn’t nearly as painful as you’d think! In fact, most patients compare it to receiving a dental filling. Remember, a root canal is designed to stop the pain at its source and prevent if from spreading further. However, it’s worth noting that some soreness in the days following a root canal is normal; after all, your body needs to heal! To ease this discomfort, you can place a cold compress against the outside of your cheek or take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If your symptoms don’t diminish after a few days, don’t hesitate to contact us; it might be a sign of a complication!
Do I Still Need a Root Canal If My Toothache Disappeared?
You might feel tempted to rejoice if your toothache has suddenly seemed to vanish, but this isn’t necessarily a good sign and doesn’t mean that the problem has disappeared. In fact, this is often the result of the infection essentially “killing” the nerve of the tooth, which results in diminished pain. But in these cases, root canal therapy is often the best option for restoring the tooth and preventing the infection from spreading further!
Can Root Canals Be Prevented?
Root canals can be prevented, but it’s a matter of keeping your teeth healthy and free of decay! This means that brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting us for regular preventive care are among the best practices for preventing the need for a root canal in the first place. However, other things to keep in mind include reducing your intake of sugar, avoiding unhealthy oral habits like smoking, and using a mouthguard when playing sports. Simply put, protecting your smile will lower your chances of needing root canal therapy.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
The exact length of the root canal process will vary from patient to patient, but the procedure can typically be completed in a single appointment (anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes). This length depends on factors such as the type of tooth being replaced; since molars (back teeth) have more roots than front teeth, they have more root canals that must be disinfected, which means the process takes longer.