Let’s Get to the Root of Your Root Canal

Approximately 15 million patients undergo root canals every year. But what are root canals, why are they so common, and what is involved in the procedure?

Approximately, 15 million patients undergo root canal therapy every year, as reported by The American Association of Endodontists. That is an awful lot of oral surgeries performed annually. If you have never needed a root canal, you have likely heard something about it, but you might not have all the facts.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a hollow area deep inside each tooth. The endodontic procedure is performed to repair an infected or severely decayed tooth. Once the center pulp is damaged, bacteria can spread inside the tooth causing infection. It is common for an abscess to form. Root canal treatment involves removing the pulp and disinfecting the inner cavity to restore the tooth to health.

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

Signs of a deep infection include a persistent toothache, inflammation, pimple on the gums, sensitivity or discoloration. If you experience any of these mentioned symptoms, schedule a dental exam as soon as possible.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Root canal surgery starts with an access hole that is drilled into the affected tooth, so the dentist can remove the damaged pulp, bacteria, and any infected or decayed tissue. The empty hole is scraped and scrubbed clean, filled and sealed. In some cases, the tooth is sealed during a later appointment, or immediately after being cleaned. If the procedure is not completed in one visit, a temporary filling is placed in the interim.

A dental paste and rubber compound are placed inside the hollow root canal to fill the empty space. The exterior hole is also closed with filling.

The last step is tooth restoration. This typically involves placing a dental crown to protect the weakened structure from breakage and to restore function.

While it may appear like a long process, our friendly staff will ensure you’re comfortable throughout the root canal procedure. We want you to feel at ease! If you have any questions about root canal treatments and how they can help with your tooth pain, contact us to schedule an appointment.

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