A root canal is a dental procedure in which our general dentists remove the bacterial infection from a patient’s tooth pulp or nerve chamber. A patient may require root canals for a number of reasons such as their tooth may have become inflamed and irritated due to tooth trauma, deep decay, or a chipped tooth.
Do I Have Alternatives Besides a Root Canal Treatment?
After the bacterial infection inside the patient’s tooth is located, they may wonder what options they may have besides undergoing a root canal. One option is to simply do nothing. Unfortunately, if the infection is not removed it will spread to the root tip and gradually into the bone. This situation is highly dangerous and not recommended.
Another option would be to simply remove the tooth. However, if the patient chooses this option, the resulting gap in their teeth can cause surrounding teeth to shift and may require a dental bridge, costing more money. This can cause problems with their jaw and bite if a dental bridge is not created and set. It can even make them more likely to get gum disease.
When Should I Get Treated for a Root Canal?
Symptoms of a patient needing a root canal will be evident from dull to severe mouth, tooth and jaw pain, extreme lingering sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks as well as pain that may cause lack of sleep.
What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?
We first examine the patient’s tooth and x-ray. A local anesthetic will be administered and once numbed, a dental dam will be positioned to isolate the tooth. The canals are then filled with a synthetic filling and sealer. Then the opening is closed with a temporary filling. Later, we will proceed to remove this temporary filling prior to restoring the tooth.
To general dentists, the great advantage to root canals is that they allow the patient to keep their tooth. Regardless of the effectiveness of modern tooth replacements, nothing is as good as the original tooth. Call us today with any questions!