Root canals are valuable dental procedures used to treat and preserve teeth with badly infected roots. The pulp is the live portion of the tooth that extends into the root and contains nerve endings and tissues. When it becomes infected, patients can experience pain, swelling and even total tooth loss unless treated. Root canals remove the damaged parts of the tooth and infected root. In some cases, an antibiotic is prescribed to help prevent further infection within the tooth. The organic portion of the tooth that remains may be restored using a cap or crown that provides a natural appearance and normal tooth function.
Did you know…
Many patients associate root canals with pain and discomfort. But local anesthetics and advancements in modern dentistry have made root canals highly tolerable procedures that are often no less comfortable than getting a standard filling. Upon completion, a restored tooth that has undergone a root canal will blend in with surrounding teeth – virtually undetectable to the average eye. More than 9 out of 10 root canal procedures are successful, and most treatments last many years or even a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a root canal?
The inner area of your teeth is made of a substance called pulp, which consists of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. When the pulp and tissues get infected from prolonged decay, Dr. Yoon uses special equipment and techniques to remove the infection, seal the canal, and fortify the tooth.
The procedure is known as a root canal. The purpose of a root canal is to save your natural tooth and prevent an extraction.
What are signs that I might need a root canal?
You may need a root canal if you experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Excruciating pain
- Extreme discomfort when chewing
- Tooth discoloration
- Swelling of gums near the tooth
- Foul odor
- Bad-tasting drainage
What happens during a root canal procedure?
Dr. Yoon gently administers a local anesthetic to numb your gums, tooth, and the surrounding tissues so that you don’t feel anything during the procedure. With special equipment, he carefully opens the central area of the tooth where the infected pulp resides, removes the unhealthy pulp, and thoroughly cleans the canal.
A dental sealant goes into the canal, then Dr. Yoon closes the tooth. Later, when your mouth has healed, you return for a dental crown, if needed.
Are root canals very painful?
The pain you experience with infected or traumatized pulp in your tooth is far more uncomfortable than the root canal itself. According to the American Association of Endodontists, most men and women report little discomfort during the procedure.
Using a local anesthetic or in some cases general sedation, Dr. Yoon makes sure the area around your tooth is numb and that you feel nothing before he begins the root canal procedure.
What can I expect after a root canal procedure?
For a few hours after your treatment, your mouth is numb. When the anesthetic wears off, you may be sore and feel some residual pain, but over-the-counter pain medicine is usually enough to make you comfortable. By the next day, you can resume your regular diet and brush and floss as you typically do.
To stop an aching tooth, turn to Dr. Yoon at Springfield Dental Solutions. Call the office for an appointment or use the easy scheduler to book online.