Common Root Canal Myths:
1) Root Canals “hurt.”
2) Root canals are just a temporary fix.
1) By using the right anesthesia , we can ensure that our root canals are painless. Most patients we work on actually fall asleep during the procedure!
2) Root canals have an extremely high success rate. However, after completing the root canal, the tooth often requires a crown. Often patients ignore this because they no longer feel pain in the tooth. If your dentist recommends a crown, be sure and get it done.
What is a Root Canal?
In the center of a tooth is soft tissue, also known as the pulp. The upper part of this soft tissue (or pulp) is called the pulp chamber. This pulp chamber extends to the bottom portion of the tooth known as the root, via pipe-like canals, giving rise to the term “root canal.” The blood vessels in these canals provide nutrition to the tooth. Occasionally, the internal soft tissue of the tooth becomes infected or traumatized beyond repair and can result in a serious pain, and or, infection if left untreated. Our doctors use a number of guidelines to evaluate whether a tooth requires root canal treatment. Not too long ago, damage to the core of a tooth usually meant it had to be removed. Today, a root canal procedure can often be done to save the tooth. It is important to note that just because there is pain associated with a tooth, does not necessarily mean that a root canal is required.
Some indications of the need for root canal treatment may be:
- Spontaneous pain or throbbing
- Sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods lasting over 10 seconds
- Severe decay or injury that leads to an infection in the bone
The Root Canal Treatment Procedure
The first step in a root canal involves getting the tooth fully anesthetized. We take special care before proceeding to make sure that the tooth is fully numb. Once we are sure it is numb, we drill a hole into the pulp of the tooth through which we can use tiny instruments to extract the remaining pulp. Throughout the procedure, the canal is constantly irrigated with antibacterial solutions. Once completely disinfected, the interior of the tooth is filled with a putty like material preventing bacterial proliferation, thus completing the root canal.
Dr. Badyal, Dr. Sweet, and Dr. Weidner are trained to perform most endodontic treatments. For overly difficult root canals they may refer you to a root canal specialist.