A nice smile can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself. Your smile could be just what someone else needs to feel a little better when they are having a bad day.
That’s probably not going to happen if you are holding your mouth in pain because of a toothache, however.
Often — too often — it’s this pain that finally leads someone to contact our dentist office in Tulsa, OK, hoping to get relief. Many times, the solution is a root canal procedure.
Before you start to worry, you need to know that root canal treatments can be performed today with little or no pain. We understand that many people become anxious when they learn that they need a root canal.
Those fears are often rooted (no pun intended) in the way dentists have been portrayed in movies and on television. You may have heard a horror story from someone else who had a root canal. If so, you may want to ask how long ago that happened.
At Galleria of Smiles, we use modern tools and techniques that make a root canal more like getting a large dental filling. To find out what we mean, call 918.999.0142 or contact us online to make an appointment.
What Is A Root Canal?
If we wanted to be technical, we would say that root canals are openings in the roots of your teeth. These openings are where blood vessels and nerves enter your teeth.
A root canal procedure is needed when your tooth becomes infected. This occurs when bacteria reach the pulp, a soft connective tissue found in the center of your tooth (the pulp chamber) and your root canals.
How Do Teeth Become Infected?
One possibility is that someone has tooth decay. This starts as a cavity. If it’s ignored or in a place where it may not be noticed, then bacteria can eat through the enamel of someone’s teeth.
The next layer is dentin, which is softer. If the bacteria eats through that, then it can reach pulp. If the pulp become infected, it can become inflamed, and that can lead to increased tooth sensitivity, pain while eating, and toothaches.
Gum disease is another risk factor for root canals. If plaque and tartar build around your roots, which happens when gum disease is not treated, then bacteria can eat into your teeth at the roots. That also means they can reach the pulp faster.
Another possibility is a broken or cracked tooth. This can create an opening where bacteria can get inside your tooth. This can quickly lead to an infection if the tooth is not repaired.
How Does A Root Canal Treatment Remove The Infection?
During a root canal procedure, one of our dentists creates an opening in the infected tooth.
Using special tools, he will remove the inflamed pulp along with the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth.
The next step is cleaning and sanitizing the inside of the tooth. Then, the tooth is filled with a special substance that helps it maintain its shape.
The final step is sealing the tooth. Often this is done with a dental crown, although a dental filling may be sufficient in some cases.
As you heal, your tooth sensitivity and toothaches should go away.
How Can A Root Canal Procedure Be Done Painlessly?
We are well aware that few dental procedures cause dental anxiety as much as root canals do. We also know that one of the reasons for that anxiety is that many people are convinced the root canal will be painful.
You should know that we use a local anesthetic before we start the procedure. Then we can use sedation dentistry to be absolutely sure that you don’t feel anything during your treatment.
We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, and IV sedation depending on your level of anxiety.
A Root Canal Treatment Really Can Help
Getting a root canal at Galleria of Smiles may be the best thing you can do to preserve your tooth and protect your smile.
To learn more about the modern approach to root canals, call 918.999.0142 or contact us online today.