A root canal often seems scary because of stories and jokes the patient hears about the process. Many times, it can be frightening because you don’t know what to expect during a root canal procedure. When you visit your local dentist office, they’ll talk to you about what to expect during the procedure.
Who Needs a Root Canal?
Anyone who has an infected tooth might need a root canal. A cavity that isn’t treated will become decay that eats into the enamel and allows bacteria to enter the inside of the tooth. The interior of the tooth is filled with pulp, nerves and blood vessels. The bacteria causes an infection or abscessed tooth, which is a pocket filled with pus at the tooth’s root. The infection can cause swelling and bone loss around the tip of the root. Once bacteria is allowed to enter the pulp, a root canal is necessary if the tooth is to be saved. In some extreme cases, the tooth may need to be removed completely.
What Does Root Canal Treatment Involve?
The dentist will administer local anesthesia to the area to ensure the patient won’t feel any pain. It could take some time and frequent shots to completely numb the area before treatment can begin. A small hole is drilled into the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The pulp tissue, which includes the nerves and blood vessels, is removed from the interior of the tooth. Once the nerves and vessels are removed, the tooth is no longer able to feel pain. The interior of the tooth is hollowed out for the insertion of a filling. This filling is a rubber-like material that is heated to fill and seal the tooth. After the procedure, a crown will need to be applied. That happens after the initial root canal treatment.
How Painful is a Root Canal?
The pain of the infection is often much worse than the treatment that happens during a root canal procedure. The area is numbed during the drilling and sealing of the tooth. After the appointment, there could be some pain and discomfort from the drilling and lingering pain from the tooth infection itself. This can be regulated with over-the-counter aids or a prescription from the dentist. Patients can feel relief to be rid of the pain associated with the infection.
If you have an infection that needs to be treated with a root canal procedure, call our local dentist in James Island, or click here to request an appointment.