A root canal is an endodontic treatment used to treat the inflamed or infected pulp of your tooth. Your tooth’s pulp is the soft center of the tooth which is connected to the tooth’s nerves, blood supply, and connective tissue. The tooth’s pulp can become damaged due to decay or injury.
The procedure involves removing the pulp from the tooth entirely by performing a pulpectomy, cleaning the tooth’s canals, and filling it with a material called gutta-percha. A dental crown is then usually placed over the tooth to protect it from wear and tear. If you need a root canal, contact us at Santee Dental Group today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Hanna.
if your tooth’s pulp is infected, the only way to completely get rid of the infection is to physically remove the pulp from the tooth.
Dr. Michael Hanna will examine your teeth and may take x-rays to look for signs of infection. This will give him an idea of the extent of your pulp’s damage and if the tooth can be salvaged.
Dr. Hanna will administer local anesthesia to numb the area. An access hole is made into the affected tooth and the pulp is scraped out using dental tools. Each of your teeth contains multiple canals inside and these will be thoroughly cleaned before filling the tooth with a material known as gutta-percha.
To close the access hole, a temporary filling may be placed and you will return for another appointment to receive a permanent filling and usually a dental crown.
At a separate appointment, you will return to the office to have a dental crown cemented onto your tooth for extra protection for your now weakened and vulnerable tooth.
A baby root canal can be performed on deciduous teeth but often involves leaving some of the pulp intact.
No, it is not painful to get a root canal. This is a common misconception and while root canals may have been painful in the past, ever since modern dentistry has developed advanced procedures and numbing agents such as local anesthesia, the procedure is entirely painless.
If you’re experiencing pain before the root canal, the procedure will relieve this pain by removing the source of infection or inflammation. Before any drilling, scraping, cleaning, or filling is done, we will numb your mouth so you won’t feel a thing.
The healing process is when you’re most likely to feel mild pain. It will take a few hours for the anesthetic to wear off, after which it’s normal to experience some tenderness, swelling, and mild pain for the next couple of days.
We recommend taking anti-inflammatory pain medication and elevating your head when you sleep at night. You should stick to soft foods and avoid hot foods and drinks for the first 24 hours. It may take a few days before you can eat hard foods or you can try eating on the other side of your mouth.
Typically the only true alternative to a root canal is to have the tooth extracted. We don’t recommend doing this unless it is absolutely necessary. If your dentist is recommending root canal treatment, it’s for a reason. Root canals have a 95% success rate and can save your tooth.
Tooth loss is not something to take lightly. Even if you do have the tooth extracted, you will need to have it replaced with a dental bridge, denture, or implant. This is because losing a tooth leads to irreversible bone loss and causes the surrounding teeth to move around in your mouth.
Shifting teeth can lead to orthodontic problems such as crooked teeth, overcrowding, or a misaligned bite. Changes in your facial structure will also occur which can lead to sagging around the mouth and premature aging of the face.
A root canal is no more painful than a routine dental filling.