The thought of getting a root canal is, for many people, one of the scariest dental procedures possible. This treatment can cause a person to feel nervous and anxious. The truth is that your dentist will have the knowledge and training to successfully perform this treatment without you being in much pain. It is helpful…
3 Reasons Why A Root Canal Might Be Needed
Root canal therapy is typically performed when a tooth's pulp chamber has been infected, irritated, or inflamed. The procedure involves cleaning out the contents of the pulp chamber, applying medication to the area to dry out any infection, and sealing the tooth with a special type of filling material called gutta-percha.
Root canals have earned a reputation as one of the most painful treatments a person can get from a dentist, but that could not be further from the truth. A root canal is a painless treatment since a local anesthetic is administered to the area before the dentist starts working on a tooth.
Dental issues a dentist might recommend root canal therapy for
Here are some of the oral issues a dentist can address by performing a root canal:
1. Severe tooth decay
Tooth decay is caused by the acids created by oral bacteria eating away at soft tissues in the mouth. It is a progressive condition that will worsen when left untreated. Tooth decay leads to the formation of small holes called cavities, which expand until they breach the pulp chamber when left unaddressed.
Opening up the pulp chamber leaves the soft tissues inside exposed to bacteria and acids in the mouth. This irritates and inflames these tissues, leading to excruciating toothaches.
Bacteria will eventually invade an exposed pulp chamber, leading to an infection of the blood vessels and nerves there. This leads to extreme toothaches that make it impossible to focus on anything, and there is always a risk of the infection spreading to other areas where it can worsen things. A root canal can treat an infected tooth or a tooth with a compromised pulp chamber.
2. Broken teeth
A root canal can also treat a severely broken tooth. Such injuries often compromise the pulp chamber, which can lead to future infection. Toothaches and bleeding might also accompany them. A root canal can clean out the pulp chamber, bringing an end to any pain and lowering the risk of infection.
Root canal therapy is the standard treatment for infected teeth. An infection occurs when bacteria enter the pulp chamber and invade the nerves and blood vessels. An infected tooth counts as a dental emergency, requiring immediate care since there is always a risk of the infection spreading to other parts of the body.
Root canals for infected teeth are performed the same way for other issues. The only exception would be the dentist applying medication to the tooth after cleaning out the pulp chamber to kill any bacteria left there.
Frequently asked questions about root canals
Getting ready for a root canal? Here are answers to come of the questions you might have regarding the procedure and recovery:
1. Is a root canal painful?
No. There is a common myth that root canals are one of the most painful procedures dentists perform, but that could not be any further from the truth. Sure, root canals were probably excruciatingly painful before local anesthetics were developed.
However, local anesthetics are injected during root canals these days, so the patients do not feel pain or discomfort during the procedure. Instead, all patients feel is pressure from the dentist drilling into their teeth.
2. How long does it take to recover from root canal therapy?
There is no recovery period after getting a root canal, and patients are free to return to regular activities afterward. Patients might feel a slight soreness in the area for a few days. It can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Patients who feel significant pain for more than a few days after getting a root canal should talk to a dentist immediately.
3. How long does root canal therapy take?
Depending on the dentist performing the procedure, a root canal can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Some dentists perform the entire procedure during a single visit, while others break it down into several appointments. This is typically done to allow the tooth to dry out before disinfecting it for a second time. A dentist might recommend this approach if a tooth is severely decayed.
We are here to help
Are you dealing with any of the issues listed above? Do not wait until your dental issues worsen, as they can lead to more severe complications. Call or visit our Tucson clinic to learn more about how our dentist can restore your tooth with a root canal.
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