If you have tooth pain, you may worry that it’s because of a serious infection. This can lead to a number of problems, including tooth abscess and pulp death.
Fortunately, modern technology and techniques have made root canals much more comfortable than they used to be! It’s a process that can save your natural tooth and restore the function and appearance of your smile.
What Is a Root Canal?
Your tooth is made up of white enamel and a hard layer called dentin. Inside of these layers is soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that help grow your tooth throughout its lifecycle. When your tooth’s pulp becomes infected or inflamed, a root canal is necessary to preserve the health and integrity of your tooth.
The most common cause of root canals is dental decay or dental trauma. These can damage the enamel and expose your tooth’s interior, allowing harmful bacteria to enter the pulp chamber and eventually your tooth.
It’s a good idea to contact your dentist immediately if you suspect that your tooth has become infected. The sooner you can get a root canal, the better your chance of saving the tooth and avoiding a more severe and expensive treatment option like extraction.
A root canal is a routine procedure that is often performed on teeth with decay, a fractured or chipped tooth, or an infected tooth that can’t be fixed. It can be done quickly and comfortably at our Sarasota office. For more information, visit www.thesarasotadentist.net/root-canals/.
How Does a Root Canal Work?
When you visit our office for a root canal, we use local anesthesia to numb the area. We may also use nitrous oxide or oral sedatives to help you relax and ease your fears.
After you are numbed, the dentist will clean out the pulp of your tooth. This involves drilling an access hole into the top of your tooth and using tiny instruments to remove the damaged and infected pulp.
Once the tooth has been cleaned, a biocompatible material is used to fill the empty root canals and an adhesive cement is added to help seal them. Once the procedure is complete, your dentist will cap your tooth with a filling or crown.
Symptoms of a Tooth Infection
You may experience tooth sensitivity or a dull pain that’s worse when you chew or eat certain foods. This may last for a few days or weeks, but will subside soon after you stop taking pain medication.
Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to reduce any symptoms of an infection after a root canal procedure. If you have a fever or other symptoms of a serious infection, you should call your doctor right away.
During the process of your root canal, you might have a bit of swelling and bruising around your infected tooth. This should fade within a week or two, but it’s a good idea to see your doctor if you have trouble swallowing or breathing through your mouth.