When the inside, or pulp of your tooth becomes infected, it needs to be removed. Removing this infected pulp is a procedure known as a root canal.
A root canal makes many people cringe when they hear it. It is necessary to help preserve the health of your mouth. In fact a root canal actually saves your teeth. If a root canal is successful, you won’t need to have your tooth extracted.
Symptoms of a Tooth That Needs a Root Canal
The symptoms of a root canal may not be present all the time. Here are some of the more common symptoms that you may need a root canal:
- An infection on the gum
- A tooth that is extremely sensitive to hot or cold
- A tooth that is discolored
- Gums that are tender or swollen in a certain spot
If you don’t have any of these symptoms your dentist will be able to tell you whether or not you need a root canal. This is why it’s important to see your dentist regularly, so that he can check your teeth and make sure everything is healthy.
Why Do You Need a Root Canal?
The infected pulp contains bacteria that can easily spread to other areas of your mouth. Cleaning out this pulp keeps your gums and other teeth safe and healthy.
How a Root Canal is Performed?
Many people are apprehensive about a root canal. They think it is painful. Nothing could be further from the truth. Root canals are performed with minimal discomfort. You will not feel a thing at the site of the procedure. In fact the most uncomfortable part may be the dental dam that is placed in your mouth.
Your dentist will start out with x-raying your teeth. He’ll need to see exactly where the infection is. Then he will give you local anesthetic to numb the area and nerves around your tooth.
Once the anesthetic has kicked in, he will set up a dental dam. This stops your saliva from running into the area and aggravating the infection. It needs to be clean and dry in order to proceed.
Next he will remove the top of your tooth. Then he will clean out the infected pulp. As he goes along he will take x-rays to make sure that he is getting all of the infection.
Once he has cleaned all of it out, he will pack the tooth with medication, then seal it. When you come back for your next visit, he will remove the medication and fill the tooth with a rubber solution. This will prevent an infection from coming back and it will save your tooth.
This procedure can also be performed in one appointment. In this case, he won’t pack the tooth with medication. He will just use the rubber solution and seal it.
In both situations your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to you in order to fight off an infection. It’s important that you take them as directed, and take all of them. You will also need to follow any other instructions provided by your dentist, such as dietary restrictions (if there are any).
Root Canal and Filling Video
Learn what to expect during common dental procedures such as cavity fillings, crowns and root canals.
If you would like to make an appointment to discuss Dental fillings, Crowns and Root Canal therapy please call 1300 657 033 to schedule an appointment at the Geelong Dentist Clinic.