Root canals are very common dental procedures, and they are nothing like the stories you may have heard.
Root Canal Basics
What is a root canal? Simply put, it is a procedure designed to save a tooth that's severely decayed or infected. Your tooth has a soft core called the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. When this pulp gets infected, it can cause severe pain. A root canal procedure removes the pulp, cleans the tooth, and seals it.
Root Canal Causes
How does a tooth get to the point of needing a root canal? Often, it's the result of tooth decay from disease or poor dental health. Decay can sneak into your tooth, creating a cavity. If left untreated, the decay advances deeper into the tooth, where it gets into the pulp and causes an infection. The pulp infection is the cause of the pain.
The Root Canal Procedure
When it comes to the actual root canal procedure, you're in the hands of professionals who perform this treatment daily. These are the steps involved in a root canal procedure:
- the tooth will be numbed with local anesthesia
- the tooth will have a hole drilled into the top surface
- the pulp will be removed
- the inside of the tooth's surface will be prepared
- the tooth's void will be filled with a rubber-like sealant
Finally, a crown or filling is installed to seal the tooth, and your pain will be a thing of the past.
Life After a Root Canal
Once the procedure is done, your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers usually help. Soon, you'll be back to normal, pain-free, and with a renewed appreciation for your oral health.
Prevention Is the Best Cure
How can you avoid needing another root canal in the future? The answer is simple: maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing. In addition, make sure you are visiting your dentist regularly. Catching a cavity when it first starts will save you from the pain of an infection—and the need for another root canal.
You've Got This
Remember, you're in control. A root canal isn't an end—it's a fresh start. It's your chance to reclaim your oral health and live without tooth pain. So take that step, make that dental appointment, and get on the road to recovery.
Contact a dentist in your area to learn more about root canals.