The root canal has earned a pretty bad rep over the years for being arguably the most painful dental ailment. But the truth is, that root canals don’t cause pain- they relieve it!
So What IS a Root Canal Anyway?
A root canal is actually an endodontic procedure, (endo meaning “inside” and dontic meaning “tooth”) not a medical condition.
See, your teeth have several, complex parts. The outer layer that you can see is the enamel and under that is the dentin.
The inside of the tooth is called the pulp chamber, it contains tissue, blood vessels and, nerves.
When those outer layers become compromised, by things like infection or chips and cracks in the enamel; the inner chamber can become infected.
That is when things get painful, because the nerves and blood vessels are concentrated in one area the infection and inflammation can be very uncomfortable.
Visiting a dentist that specializes in endodontic care can help you to figure out what dental procedure is the most appropriate for your needs.
While no one likes the idea of a dentist’s drill poking around in their mouth, the process of a root canal is standard and fairly simple.
They begin by numbing the tooth that the procedure will be performed on, and isolating it from the rest of the mouth for sterility with a rubber or vinyl dental dam.
Once the tooth has been isolated and the rest of the mouth is covered by the rubber dam, AND is completely numb there will be a small access hole drilled into the tooth. Don’t worry the doctor won’t proceed with any tools until the tooth is entirely numb, because there are so many nerves inside the tooth it may take some time for the full effect.
After the access hole is drilled the dead and diseased pulp will be removed and the dentist will clean and disinfect the now empty canal. The canal is then shaped to receive the filling and sealants.
What are fillings and sealants? I thought they removed the stuff from the tooth?
Because the tooth will be weaker without anything inside of it, it is necessary to put something in place to help support the outer layers.
The filling is made of thermoplastic material that is heated and then compressed into the empty chamber. After that an adhesive cement is used to seal the access hole to prevent future infections from happening and to keep the chamber free of debris.
You will likely have a crown put on top of the tooth to add stability, but your dentist will advise you based on your condition.
You may also be prescribed an antibiotic following the procedure to take care of any residual infection and prevent more infection from beginning.
Though they sound scary, root canals are simple and often very essential procedures. Contact Copper Creek for a free consultation today!