When people hear the words “root canal” they’re often struck with fear. Root canal procedures have a bad reputation for being painful. But that’s a reputation that they don’t deserve. Premier Dental Care and Implant Centers in Palmdale and Lancaster, CA explain why you don’t have to worry.
What is a Root Canal?
Technically, a root canal is a part of your tooth. It’s the hollow interior compartment that holds the dental pulp and nerve endings. However, when someone mentions a root canal, they’re most likely talking about a root canal procedure. This is done when the dental pulp inside your tooth gets infected and needs to be removed.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
Some patients may not even realize they have infected dental pulp until a dentist notices it during a dental cleaning and exam. It’s invisible to the untrained eye, but is diagnosed by the dentist. Pain is the most common symptom you’ll have. It’s often sharp and sudden, made worse when you’re biting or chewing food.
Other symptoms include having prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. The gums around the infected tooth can become irritated and swollen. You may also see that the tooth itself is discolored. It’ll often be darker because of the infection inside.
The Root Canal Process
First, your dentist will diagnose the infection in your tooth. A separate appointment will be made for the root canal procedure. A local anesthetic will be applied to the area around the tooth. If you suffer from a fear of the dentist or some other complication, we offer sedation dentistry. We want to make sure you’re able to get the help you need while you stay relaxed and calm.
Once you’re numb and comfortable, a small hole will be drilled into the back of the tooth. Your dentist will use special tools to scrape out all of the infected dental pulp. The inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned out to ensure all of the infection is removed. The tooth is then filled with a biocompatible material. A dental crown will be placed over the tooth to ensure no infection develops again and to give you back full functionality of the tooth.
Often, patients experience relief after they have this procedure. The pain of a root canal isn’t from the procedure itself. It’s actually from the pressure and pain of the infection from inside the tooth. Once this is removed, many patients find that their pain is gone. A root canal procedure doesn’t feel like anything more than getting a dental filling.