Root canal treatment is a restorative procedure used to treat a pulp infection. Pulp infections occur when bacteria is able to permeate through the enamel and dentin to reach the innermost layer of the tooth. During a root canal, decayed and infected tissue is removed from the pulp chamber and root canals in order to prevent the tooth from being lost, or the infection spreading to the jaw bone or surrounding teeth. After a root canal has been completed, the affected tooth is then restored with a dental crown to prevent future decay.
Did You Know?
According to the American Association of Endodontics, more than 15 million root canals are performed annually, with about 41,000 root canals being performed daily.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need a root canal?
You may need a root canal if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Discolored tooth
- Sudden tooth pain
- Progressive tooth pain
- Swelling or discoloration of the gums around the affected tooth
- Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages
While all these symptoms could indicate the need for a root canal, they may also have other causes. Additionally, not all pulp infections produce symptoms and some are only identified through dental exams and x-rays. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended to schedule a consultation with your Hemet dentist to determine the cause.
How is a root canal performed at my Hemet dental office?
At your Hemet dental office, root canals are performed with dental anesthetics and possible sedation. Dental anesthetics ensure the treatment area remains numb, while dental sedation can be used to keep you relaxed throughout the procedure.
Your procedure will begin with your Hemet dentist making a tiny hole in the top of your tooth to access the inside of the tooth. Any infected tissue will then be removed from the pulp chamber and root canals. This may take awhile because the root canals can be very narrow and curvy. After the tissue has been removed, the pulp chamber and root canals will be flushed to ensure any remaining bacteria are removed.
Once the infection has been removed from the pulp, the next step is to restore the tooth. Since the pulp chamber and root canals are now hollow, they must be filled in order to support the tooth. A rubber-like dental material called gutta percha is used to fill the root canals and pulp chamber. To provide additional support, a tiny post may also be placed inside the tooth. When the inside of the tooth has been filled, then a dental crown will be placed over the top of the tooth. This completely encapsulates the tooth and protects it from further decay or damage.
Do root canals hurt?
The root canal procedure itself should not hurt because you will be anesthetized and your mouth will be numb. However, pulp infections hurt because they cause inflammation inside the tooth where the nerves are, as well as in the surrounding area. Although root canals will remove the infection, it may take a few days for the resulting inflammation to subside. Because of this, you may experience some mild discomfort after your procedure. This can usually be managed with over the counter medications and should fade within a few days.