Root canal treatment is the most common endodontic procedure. Endodontics is an area of dentistry that treats the tooth’s interior, including the pulp. The tooth pulp is composed of nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels. When the pulp gets infected, it can be intensely painful and require a root canal treatment. Fortunately, the right dentist can complete a root canal as quickly and painlessly as a normal cavity filling.
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
A tooth’s dental pulp provides the tooth with essential nutrients during development, but once the tooth is fully grown and established, it can survive without the pulp. If the dental pulp gets infected, dentists can remove it and replace it with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha.
Your dentist starts by administering a local anesthetic to the gum tissue around the infected tooth to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Once you are adequately numb, your dentist makes an opening in the tooth’s crown. The crown is the above-the-gum part of the tooth that you brush and floss.
Through the hole in the crown, your dentist uses small tools called endodontic files to remove the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals. Then they shape and disinfect the pulp chamber to accommodate the gutta-percha filling. The filling adheres to the tooth walls with the help of adhesive cement.
Once the filling and adhesive cement form a seal in the root, your dentist fills the hole in your tooth’s crown with a temporary filling. Your dentist secures a crown over your tooth during your next visit, and the procedure is complete.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Your dentist uses a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area, so you do not feel pain during the procedure. The tooth and surrounding area may be sensitive or swollen for several days after the procedure. If you experience persistent pain and pressure, or pain that lasts multiple days, contact your dentist.
Who Needs a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canals are necessary if your tooth’s root is inflamed or infected. Root inflammation or infection can occur for many reasons, including deep decay from an untreated cavity, significant structural damage due to facial trauma, or repeated dental procedures on the same tooth.
When a root infection is left untreated, it can cause an abscess, a painful pocket of pus at the base of the root. Symptoms of an abscess and root infection include:
- Pain when chewing
- Pimples on the gums
- Gums with dark coloration
- Inflamed and tender gums
- Lingering sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
If you experience these symptoms, contact your dentist. A root infection can spread to the jaw and sinuses if left untreated, causing significant discomfort and damage.
Root Canal Treatment at A Dental Place
Root canal treatment is a quick procedure that reduces discomfort and pain associated with deep tooth infections. If you are experiencing pain while chewing, severe tooth sensitivity, or a persistent toothache, contact A Dental Place.
At A Dental Place, we strive to make every dental procedure comfortable and convenient. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a dental exam at (630) 620-7300 and to learn more about root canal treatment and our other oral health procedures.