Has your dentist recommended you have a root canal? Our Victoria dentists explain this dental procedure, why you may need one and what you can expect.
Why could I need a root canal?
The inside of your tooth has pulp which can become infected with bacteria as a result of a deep cavity or traumatic injury. Only your dental professional can examine your teeth and confirm whether you need this dental surgery since pulp damage could happen even if there is no visible damage on the tooth.
Root canal therapy (also referred to as endodontics) can save a tooth with a severe infection inside. Without a root canal, the tooth would die, requiring extraction. Missing teeth can lead to complex dental issues that can be difficult, time-consuming and costly to repair. It is always preferable to save the tooth with a root canal if at all possible.
Besides potentially saving your tooth, a root canal can alleviate symptoms such as:
Severe Toothache Pain
If the pulp of a tooth is infected, it will often cause noticeable pain. You may notice sharp pain whenever you apply pressure to the tooth, such as during chewing. There also might be sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Bump(s) Appearing on the Gums
Also known as a dental cyst, this small, pimple-like bump forms on the gums near a tooth that may indicate an infected or decayed tooth, or one within which the pulp is infected. This might signal that you could benefit from a root canal.
Darkening of the Tooth
Infected pulp may cause a tooth to darken in colour due to internal damage. If you notice one of your teeth is a darker shade than the others, there may be an issue with the inner pulp.
What happens during a root canal procedure?
With modern dental technology and techniques, root canal therapy has become a relatively simple and minimally invasive procedure when compared with a tooth extraction or other procedures.
The area will be numbed with anesthesia before your dentist uses a specialized tool to create an opening in the tooth. The bacteria, diseased blood vessels or dead tissue will then be cleared out of the interior of the tooth. The inner chamber of the tooth will be shaped and irrigated with water, rinsing away any diseased tissue that remains.
Your dentist may apply an antimicrobial solution to eliminate any remaining bacteria and decrease your risk of further infection.
After the chamber has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, it will be filled with medicated dental material. Your dentist will then place a temporary filling to seal the tooth until a permanent crown is placed.
A few weeks later, the permanent dental crown will be placed to protect the tooth from damage.
Most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime, and help you maintain confidence in your smile.
Do you have questions about root canal therapy, and how this procedure can help you? Our Victoria dentists can explain the process and answer any inquiries you may have. Contact us today.