Placerville Root Canal
Ah, the root canal. Its reputation is said to precede it. Indeed, countless dental patients cannot bear to hear the term—come now. Let the good people of Placerville Dentistry lay those fears to rest. We can do it because the truth behind root canals is so much less monstrous than you think.
What is a Root Canal
The term root canal comes from the fact that you must remove the tissue (i.e., pulp) inside of a tooth. Pulp is living, sensitive tissue that makes up your tooth’s blood and nerve supply. When the pulp becomes diseased or injured, it can cause discomfort in the crown of your tooth. If left untreated, the pulp will die.
Once dead, the pulp’s blood and nerve supply are lost, which renders it unable to send messages of pain or pressure through your tooth’s root tip. This can be very painful. If left uninhibited, your body will fight back by trying to remove the cause of that pain with an infection (i.e., tooth abscess). If an infection occurs, you must have your tooth removed.
Here is where the root canal comes in. The pulp inside of a tooth can be accessed by removing its root tip with a drill-like instrument called an endodontic file. Once that tip is removed, all of the diseased or injured pulp is then removed from that space through a series of small files and irrigating solutions.
The canal is then cleaned and sealed with a dental filling material. The root tip is then filled with a sealant material to prevent it from becoming reinfected.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal
A root canal may be necessary if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Severe toothache, pressure, or pain that doesn’t go away with regular treatment/medications
- Toothache that wakes you at night
- Difficult or painful chewing or biting down on certain objects
- A hole, break in the outer part of your tooth, discoloration of the tooth crown, loose teeth
- Swelling in the face/jaw on your face (may occur with an abscess)
- Strong, persistent bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
Unfortunately, there is no way to know if you need a root canal until we see you for an examination. That is why it is important to visit your dentist regularly, even if you are not experiencing any problems with your teeth.
How are Root Canals Performed
Root canals are typically performed in our Placerville office under local anesthesia. If you are feeling anxious or fearful about the procedure, we can provide sedation dentistry services to help you relax.
We will start by numbing the tooth and the surrounding area with a local anesthetic. We will then remove the infected or injured pulp from the tooth’s root canal system. The canal is then cleaned and sealed with a dental filling material. The root tip is then filled with a sealant material to prevent it from becoming reinfected.
The entire root canal procedure usually takes between one and two hours to complete. None of it is especially painful, and we’re right there with you every step of the way.
What Should I Expect After My Root Canal
Most people report little to no discomfort following a root canal. You may experience some minor swelling and/or tenderness in the tooth and surrounding area that can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications. We will provide you with a toothache relief kit that includes instructions for taking care of your teeth following the procedure.
Keeping your teeth clean and free of plaque and debris following a root canal is important. You should brush, floss as usual, and rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water) twice a day. You should also avoid biting down on hard objects or chewing on ice cubes.
You will need to return for a follow-up visit approximately two weeks after your root canal to ensure that the tooth is healing properly and that there is no infection.
If you are experiencing any problems following your root canal or your tooth begins to hurt or swell, please contact our Placerville dental office immediately.
Root canals are a very successful procedure that allows us to save a tooth that would otherwise require removal. They help prevent infection from spreading through all of the tissues in your body and can save you from experiencing unnecessary pain.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or if you are having tooth pain that does not respond to regular treatment options, contact our Placerville office today at (530) 317-0378 to schedule an examination.
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