Do the words “root canal” make you cringe? You are certainly not alone, but those old-fashioned ideas about root canals are no longer how they should be seen. While they are nothing to pass off as a piece of cake, the root canal process is not as daunting as you may expect it to be. In fact, the whole root canal procedure can be nearly painless, since the advancements in technology and the tender touch of the Cornerstone Dental Arts team make root canals something you need not dread any longer.
Coming in for a regular dental cleaning is one thing, but when a root canal is in order, many patients – maybe even you – may want to avoid the visit altogether. But pushing it off will only make matters more complicated and potentially harder to correct. Dealing with the dental issue in a timely fashion is not only smart, but can save you from worse complications down the road.
Here is the basis of what you need to know about root canals– how to tell if you or a family member may need one, what the root canal process entails, and why visiting the dentist is a must-do, as we can assess your situation and determine if a root canal is indeed in order.
Why might I need a root canal?
The human tooth is made of three distinct layers – the enamel layer which is on the outside, the dentin layer just beneath it, and the dental pulp – the innermost chamber filled with sensitive nerves and blood vessels. When a person develops a cavity, it is usually limited to the outermost enamel portion of the tooth. But if left untreated, it will continue to fester and delve deeper into the inner pulp, and this causes an infection, not to mention pain for the patient. In order to successfully clear away this tooth infection and restore the tooth back to a healthy condition, a root canal is often required.
What does a root canal entail?
We need to get the infection out from the dental pulp, and the best way to do this is by removing all the infected tissue from the inside. Then the area is carefully cleaned out and fully sanitized, filled with a special medicated substance, and restored by being topped with a natural-looking dental crown using our CEREC machine. This entire procedure is usually completed in one visit, something patients certainly appreciate.
Will the root canal process be painful?
We know that the prospect of experiencing pain of any degree is probably your biggest concern about the root canal process. Never fear; we will fully numb the area with a local anesthetic so you will not feel any pain while we complete your root canal. Perhaps you will feel some pressure, but it will not be too uncomfortable for you to bear. And if any pain is felt at any point during the procedure, we can apply more of the numbing agent until you are all numbed up again. We promise to make you as comfortable as we can. We will communicate with you the whole way through, so you can alert us to any pain you may feel while we work on your root canal.
Ouch! My tooth hurts…is it time for a root canal?
It all depends, as every patient and situation is unique. Some types of tooth pain signal that a cavity has crept in. When the tooth is aching and throbbing with pain, it could be an infection that has gone deep into the tooth, perhaps due to a cavity that has been left untreated. This may mean a root canal is in order. The only way to tell is by making an appointment with one of the Cornerstone Dental Arts’ dentists. We are able to assess the severity of your particular situation and see what can be done to relieve you of your problematic pain. But do not let any pain linger for long. As soon as you feel like something may be wrong with your tooth, schedule an appointment with a dentist immediately. It could be the early stages of a cavity which can be repaired right away. But wait too long and the issue can get far worse, with you winding up in need of a root canal.
Do you want to know more about root canals? Do you think you or a family member may need one? Are you experiencing tooth pain that seems severe? Call our office and we will get you in for an appointment as soon as possible. Your oral health is our number one concern. Our number is 865-531-7177. We look forward to seeing you and getting you back to your old self in no time, pain free and smiling.