Root Canal Therapy
Even the most unflappable person can quickly become flustered when told that they need a root canal. Root canals have a bad reputation and can strike fear in the hearts of many otherwise brave individuals, but the fact is, any fear around this common and easy procedure is quite unfounded. Root canals are a very important procedure that can help a tooth that is severely damaged by infection or decay. We here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry strongly believe that a root canal can help save a tooth that has become endangered of becoming extracted or lost.
What is a Root Canal and What Happens During One?
Many of our patients are surprised to discover that their tooth is a living organ. It is kept alive by a network of blood vessels and nerve endings inside the pulp of your tooth. When your tooth sustains a serious injury or has advanced tooth decay, the blood vessels and nerves can become compromised. The tooth can “die” and become at risk of needing extraction.
We perform a root canal on these teeth as an effort to help save the tooth and keep it in your mouth. A root canal is a procedure that involves removing the infected tissue inside your tooth. When we perform a root canal, we will first begin by numbing the site of the procedure with local anesthetic (typically lidocaine). We will then place a thin rubber sheet over the area to help keep it clean during the procedure.
Using our handpiece, we will carefully drill into your tooth to expose the area of infection or decay. We will then remove all infected tissue from the tooth, then file the tooth down to shape it. If it is necessary, we will also wash the area with a special antibiotic to help combat the active infection. Next, we will use a material called gutta percha to fill the opening in your tooth, then put a temporary filling over it.
Our lab will start on making your permanent crown (or the restoration that we recommended to you for this procedure). Once it is ready, we will have you return for your final fitting for it. If we are satisfied with the fit of the crown, we will bond it to your prepared tooth.
Does Getting a Root Canal Hurt?
It is understandable to be nervous about getting a root canal, but we want to assure you that it is a safe and gentle procedure. We will use anesthetic throughout the procedure to ensure that you do not experience any discomfort throughout it. If you do find that you are uncomfortable, please let us know right away. We can provide you with more anesthetic to help ensure that you do not experience any pain.
The reality is, while a root canal itself does not hurt, having unchecked tooth decay and infections in your mouth can be quite painful. Regular dental checkups and a good oral hygiene regimen can go a long way to help prevent you from experiencing oral pain. If you are ready to set up your next appointment with us here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry, or you would like to learn more about root canal therapy, please give us a call today at (803) 310-4707!