With all the rumors circulating about them, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t exactly be excited upon hearing the words “root canal.” But at Galleria of Smiles, we’re here to assure you: there’s nothing to be afraid of.
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure used to fix and save a tooth that has become infected or is badly decayed. During the procedure, we remove the nerve and pulp from inside of the tooth, before cleaning and sealing the tooth to prevent further damage.
If left untreated, the tooth will become more infected, and abscesses could form. Understandably, you’re probably wondering what happens to your tooth if the nerve and pulp are removed. It turns out that the nerves’ only function is sensory. That means giving the feeling of hot or cold. If the nerves are removed during a root canal, the health of the tooth won’t be compromised. You’ll be able to go back to normal daily functions like eating, drinking, and talking, except without the pain of a decaying or infected tooth.
Why Does Tooth Pulp Need To Be Removed?
When the nerve tissue or pulp inside your tooth is damaged, bacteria collect inside your tooth causing an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is when a pocket is formed at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess happens when the infection spreads from the tooth to the ends of the tooth roots and even further. An infection in the root canal of a tooth can lead to:
- Swelling of the mouth, face, neck, and head
- Bone loss around the roots of the tooth
- Drainage problems
So what causes the problem in the first place? A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become inflamed, irritated, and infected because of severe decay, a crack or chip in the tooth, facial trauma, and more.
It sounds like a pretty serious problem because it is. But that’s exactly why root canals are nothing to be afraid of. The procedure isn’t the problem. In fact, a root canal is what solves the problem.
What Happens During A Root Canal?
At Galleria of Smiles, we make sure our patients know exactly what to expect when they come to our office. There are no surprises here! We can take care of the entire procedure right here in our Sand Springs, OK office.
Before we begin the procedure, we will take an X-ray to get a closer look at the shape of your root canal and find out if there are signs of infection in the bone around it. To make sure you’re completely comfortable and feel no pain at all, we use local anesthesia as well as our list of comfort options you can choose from. Anesthesia isn’t required but your comfort is important to us so we will do what we can to help you relax.
We will use a sheet of rubber to keep the area dry during the procedure. We will then use our specialized tools to remove the pulp, bacteria, decayed nerve tissue, and debris from your tooth. We will periodically flush away the debris to make sure we’re cleaning the tooth out completely.
Once we’ve thoroughly cleaned the tooth, we seal it. If necessary, we will use medication on the tooth to prevent further infection. We may also use a crown to cap the tooth if we feel that it needs extra protection from decay or damage. We will discuss this with you ahead of time.
Is A Root Canal Painful?
“Don’t believe everything you hear!” How many times have you heard that phrase? Well, when it comes to root canals, we stand by those words! Root canals are among the most feared procedures, despite there being no reason to be afraid of them. Because of advanced technology, better techniques, and comfort options, most people report feeling no pain at all!
In the first few days after your root canal, it’s normal to experience some sensitivity. Any sensitivity you experience can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen. You can expect to return to your normal activities the very next day!
Learn More Today!
If you’re in need of a root canal or just want to learn more, don’t hesitate to call our office. At Galleria of Smiles, we’re here to help! Call us or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!