What Happens During A Root Canal?

Decades ago, if infection spread deep into a tooth, the best solution would have been a tooth extraction. This would both relieve the pain that a patient might be feeling because of the infection and also prevent the infection from damaging the gums and other teeth. Fortunately dental advancements made it possible to save a decaying tooth with treatments like a root canal. While most patients do not want to hear that they will need root canal, it is much better than the alternative, plus root canal treatments have continually become more and more comfortable with dental advancements. In this article, we will cover what root canals are and what to expect. If you have questions about your own oral health, we provide dental appointments for patients in Lawrence Massachusetts, click below to schedule an appointment with our team. 

What Is A Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal is a dental treatment that involves removing decay from inside the tooth. When you think about your teeth you might only think about the crowns or the sections of the teeth that are visible outside of the gums. But underneath the gums teeth split into multiple roots. The outermost layer of your teeth are designed to protect your teeth from decay and bacteria. Inside your teeth are your dentin and tooth pulp. The pulp contains nerves and softer tissue. When decay or bacteria spreads into the tooth root you will need to have that section removed. This can happen because of a deep cavity or a cracked/damaged tooth. A root canal works by opening the tooth, cleaning out the effected root, filling the root and then closing off the tooth. 

What Happens During A Root Canal?

Before getting a root canal your dentist might recommend dental x-rays of the affected tooth or teeth. Other testes might be done as well to get a deeper understanding of how your tooth root has been affected. During a root canal you will receive local anesthesia or be fully sedated if your dentist provides sedation dentistry. A tiny hole is drilled into your tooth’s crown that allows the dentist to access the tooth roots. Tools are then used to remove the nerves, blood vessels, and tissues from the decayed tooth root. After the infected tooth pulp is removed, the tooth is cleaned and then filled with a rubbery dental material. The tooth is then sealed with a dental filling. Finally, a dental crown is placed to cover the area that was opened during the root canal process. Depending on the dentist you go to, you might need to wait for your crown to be made and come back at a later date to have the crown installed. Alternatively, dentists who use CEREC technology can create the dental crown on the same day. 

How Do I Know If I Need A Root Canal?

First and foremost, the best and most effective way to know when you need any dental treatment is to see a dentist twice per year. Routine visits can find problems at their earliest stages so that they don’t progress. Additionally, they can help prevent problems from starting in the first place. But other than learning that you need a root canal during a regular dental visit there are some symptoms of deep decay in a tooth. Swollen gums, tooth pain (especially when putting pressure on a specific tooth), swollen jaws, loose adult teeth, and pimples or boils on the gums are all signs of deep decay that could indicate infection. 

Schedule Dental Exams and Cleanings in Lawrence

If you live in the Lawrence Massachusetts area, we highly recommend making sure you see a dentist at least twice a year. Quick dental appointments can help prevent and treat problems before they worsen. To schedule an appointment with our team, please click below. 

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