What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures, dentists perform this procedure well over 14 million times every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. At the center of your tooth is the nerve or dental pulp of the tooth. When the pulp becomes inflamed or irritated from a cavity, trauma, cracks or other causes, it must be treated. If left untreated abscesses may form around the tooth causing swelling around the tooth and pain in the tooth and/or gums.
Diagnosing a Root Canal
If patients are experiencing any symptoms X-ray imaging may be recommended. These X-ray images can occasionally show the source of the problem. If X-rays do not reveal the whole problem the staff at Hiebert Smith Dental Group may have to perform a diagnostic root canal. This procedure will identify holes and cracks that the X-ray did not originally identify.
Root Canal Procedure
In order to treat the damage in your dental pulp, Dr. Hiebert or Dr. Smith will perform a root canal. Root canal therapy is highly effective and is less expensive than extracting and replacing a tooth. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and, depending on the extent of treatment, may take one or more visits.
First, Dr. Hiebert or Dr. Smith will drill a hole into the damaged tooth. Then, the injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned. Following that, the hole is sealed as to not let bacteria back into the tooth. Finally, in order to prevent additional damage and restore the tooth’s appearance, our dentists will place a filling.
Root Canal Recovery
After the root canal procedure, patients can experience swelling, increased sensitivity and pain. This should only last for a couple of days. If pain and swelling persist patients can take anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate the pain and swelling.
Patients report that after recovery there is no problem speaking, smiling, or eating. Your treated tooth should feel the same as the rest of your natural teeth.