Making Sense Of Root Canal Therapy
Root canals are often misunderstood and misrepresented in popular media. This has led many people to associate root canal treatment with pain.
At Parkway Dental, we take steps to keep the procedure as pain-free as possible.
We understand that learning that you need a root canal procedure can be discomforting. We’ve seen the reactions from patients when we give them this news.
We want to take away some of the mystery (and speculation) surrounding root canals. We see it as a three-step process, which we will describe below.
In the meantime, just remember that you can contact our dentist office in Snellville, GA, with questions or to make an appointment if you suspect that you may have an infected tooth.
The Root Canal Procedure
Earlier, we mentioned that root canal treatment is a three-step process.
Dr. Vakharia has described it as the root canal, the buildup, and the protective cap. We’ll take some time in a moment to describe each step below.
► The Root Canal
What most people refer to as a root canal is root canal therapy. Your teeth have root canals, which are openings where nerves and blood vessels enter your teeth. The canal lead to the pulp chamber.
The chamber and the canals also contain pulp, which is a soft connective tissue at the center of your tooth. When a tooth becomes infected, it leads to inflammation of the pulp, and that can be quite painful.
Before we begin this treatment at Parkway Dental, we either numb your tooth and the surrounding soft tissue with local anesthetic, or we can administer dental sedation to ensure that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
The root canal treatment is done to remove the infection from your tooth. We do this by creating an opening in the tooth so we can remove the pulp, nerves, and blood vessels.
The next step is cleaning and sanitizing the tooth to prepare it for the next step.
► The Buildup
At this point in the process, your tooth will be hollow at the center. The point of doing a root canal treatment is to save your tooth so it does not need to be extracted.
To keep your tooth viable, we will fill it with a special material called gutta-percha. This material is derived from the sap of a particular family of trees. This material can fill in the empty root canals and the pulp chamber.
This adds support for your tooth and it reduces your risk of another bacterial infection.
► The Protective Cap
The final step in the root canal procedure is sealing and protecting your tooth. This is necessary so your tooth will look whole and so your tooth will function like it should.
The most common approach to sealing your tooth is a by making a dental crown. This crown is made of a material that is strong enough to hold up to daily use, yet still look like one of your natural teeth.
If you think that you may need a root canal procedure, we hope you will call our dentists in Snellville, GA. We want to help you in a way that is both compassionate and effective.
Why Teeth Become Infected
As noted above, the reason people need root canal treatments is because one (or more) of their teeth are infected. So how does that happen?
The short version is that bacteria has reached the innermost parts of a tooth. This leads to the inflammation of the pulp. That’s is when you may start to notice pain when you bite or chew, increased sensitivity to heat or cold, or lingering pain in your tooth.
You should call Parkway Dental right away if you are experiencing any of those symptoms.
One way this happens is with tooth decay. As the bacteria that cause decay eat into your tooth, you will first develop a cavity. If you don’t remove the decay and fill the cavity, the decay will continue eating deeper and deeper into your tooth until it reaches the pulp chamber.
Another way root canals become necessary is when you have untreated gum disease. This can allow bacteria to form plaque and tartar on the roots of your teeth. If the bacteria eat into the root, it can quickly reach a root canal, where is can infected your pulp.
A third way bacteria can cause an infection is with a broken tooth. This can make it easier for bacteria to reach the pulp chamber. It’s also why we encourage our patients to restore broken teeth as soon as possible.
End Your Pain
The last thing our team wants is for any of our patients to be in pain. If you are suffering from an infected tooth, please make an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as possible if you live in or near Snellville, GA.