What Happens During Root Canals and Other Endodontic Procedures?
So, a dentist just said you need a root canal – what happens next?
First things first, don’t panic. This is a routine treatment that can help save your smile and teeth.
While root canals are mistakenly touted as a painful experience, modern dentistry and local anesthesia mean that today’s root canals are no grim affair.
To ease your mind about root canals and other treatments, let’s look at what you can expect during an endodontic procedure.
What is Endodontics?
The term endodontics refers to a specialized branch of dentistry that treats nerve ( aka the dental pulp) problems inside the tooth. The most familiar endodontic procedure is a root canal.
If you have tooth pain, it is important to consult a dentist or endodontist quickly. Doing so raises the chances that your tooth can be saved. Without intervention, your tooth may need to be removed. If there is an infection, it can spread to your gums, bones, and in some cases to your bloodstream.
When Do People need to Get a Root Canal?
A root canal treats bacterial infection and/or inflammation of the nerve of the tooth.
Bacteria can get inside a tooth that has cracked, chipped, or decayed — such as from a cavity. This damage opens the door for bacteria to squeeze past the tough outer layers of enamel and then dentin and into the softer, dental pulp- inside the tooth.
Once bacteria enter the pulp, it can lead to an infection inside the sensitive inner part of the tooth where the nerve is located. The body tries to fight infection by pumping more blood into the area, which adds additional pressure, pain, and inflammation.
So, while root canals are unfortunately seen as very painful, proper and timely treatment is the best way to alleviate the pain.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
During the procedure, your dentist or endodontist will clean out the bacteria and infected portions of the tooth pulp by shaping the root canal and irrigating the root with a disinfectant solution. After the canal is clean, the dentist will seal the tooth root to prevent future bacterial incursions.
This procedure allows patients to keep teeth that have become infected. If the nerve is unhealthy, the only other alternative to a root canal is to pull the tooth and replace it with a dental implant, fixed bridge, or removable denture.
While a root canal preserves your natural tooth, your dentist will likely recommend putting a crown on the affected tooth. Removing the diseased pulp makes the tooth more brittle, and a crown provides support to keep the tooth intact.
Contact our team at McDonogh Dental Associates if You Need a Root Canal in Owings Mills, Maryland
Don’t live in pain – modern dentistry is here to help. The dentists at McDonogh Dental Associates are experienced and can help when you need a root canal or other procedure. If you need treatment, contact our offices today to get started.