You’ve likely heard the horror stories associated with root canals and are probably fearing the worst now that you’ve started experiencing some severe tooth pain. Do you need a root canal? What is a root canal? Are root canals painful? These are just a few of the countless questions circling in your mind. While you’ll obviously need to seek the professional opinion of an experienced dentist like Dr. ArtinSakhaee to get a certain answer on whether or not you need a root canal, keep reading for answers to some of your root canal questions.
What is a root canal?
A “root canal” is the term for the natural cavity in the center of your tooth. The nerve of a tooth lies in the root canal and is surrounded by pulp. The pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal.
A root canal procedure involves repairing and saving a tooth that is decaying or has become badly infected. Without a root canal, tissues surrounding the tooth can actually become infected and you can develop painful and dangerous abscesses.
What happens during the root canal procedure?
After your dentist examines you and determines that you require a root canal, the treatment will be scheduled. During the root canal procedure, your endodontist will take an x-ray of the area to determine if the infection extended into the surrounding bone area. They will then utilize local anesthesia to numb around the tooth.
A rubber dam will also be placed around the infected tooth to keep the area dry and saliva free. After this, the dentist will drill an access hole into the tooth and remove the pulp, decayed nerve tissue and other debris from the tooth. Once the tooth is fully scraped and scrubbed and all debris and bacteria are removed, water or sodium hypochlorite is used to thoroughly flush the tooth.
The tooth then needs to be sealed. Some dentists like to wait a week and administer medication to clean up any infections, while others choose to seal the tooth the same day. To fill the tooth, the dentist or endodontist will utilize a combination of sealer paste and rubber compound. A filling will then be placed to fill the access hole. In some cases, a crown, post or other restorative action needs to be taken to protect the tooth from further damage.
Is there pain during or after a root canal procedure?
Root canals are often labeled as extremely painful procedures. In reality, most patients report that they aren’t much more painful than having a standard filling placed. Your tooth might feel sensitive for the first few days after a root canal due to inflammation, but it can typically be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications.
Trust Metropolitan Smiles with Your Root Canal Procedure
If you think you might need a root canal, you want to be sure that you see an experienced endodontist to treat you. At Metropolitan Smiles, Dr. ArtinSakhaee provides root canal procedures in a comfortable and relaxed environment using the latest in dental technologies. For root canals in Queens County and the surrounding areas, contact Metropolitan Smiles.