Root canals have long been a feared dental treatment. However, advancements in root canal techniques can make this process essentially pain-free. If you’re in need of a root canal, it’s important to be familiar with what a root canal actually is and what is involved. Below, we’ve put together an overview where we discuss everything you need to know about root canals to offer educational guidance and put your mind at ease.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure designed to clean and disinfect the pulp, or nerve, of an infected tooth. The pulp is a soft tissue filled with blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue located inside the tooth. Though the pulp helps a tooth grow during development, a fully developed tooth can survive solely from the surrounding tissue. When this area becomes infected or decayed, it is essential to remove the affected area. The purpose of this procedure is to save the natural tooth and avoid an extraction, dental implant, or bridge, which can often mean a longer recovery time and further appointments. Preserving a natural tooth is always preferred by dentists when possible.
What happens during a root canal?
A root canal requires a pre-procedure exam, but the actual treatment is typically completed in one appointment. During the procedure, the infected nerve is removed, and the inside of the tooth is carefully and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using a topical antiseptic and mechanical debridement. The interior is then filled and sealed with a sealer paste and rubber compound, as a preventative measure to avoid future infections or decay. Strengthening the tooth, especially if it is one of the premolars or back grinding teeth, is the last and final step. In most cases, a crown, or a cap, will need to be placed over the tooth that received a root canal.
Does a root canal hurt?
Root canals have been a notoriously painful dental procedure for years. Truthfully, they are extremely routine in modern dentistry, relatively painless, and very effective. Before the root canal, the dentist will place numbing medication on your gum near the infected tooth and then inject a local anesthetic. You will remain awake for the procedure, but the anesthetic keeps you from feeling pain. Dr. Vascimini has years of experience performing root canals and is committed to using the most advanced equipment and latest techniques to ensure a painless procedure.
How do you know a root canal is necessary?
The most common reasons for a root canal are a cracked tooth from either injury or genetics, a severe cavity, or issues with a filling. Common symptoms that patients typically notice include heightened sensitivity, intense pain while biting or chewing, a cracked tooth, swollen gums, pimples on the gums, or darkening and discoloration of a tooth. The best dentists know when a root canal is and isn’t necessary from a standard appointment examination, including an x-ray.
What does recovering from a root canal entail?
The recovery after a root canal is simple and straightforward. The anesthetic takes a couple of hours to wear off, so doctors may advise against eating for a short period. Patients may experience mild soreness or slight discomfort as the area heals and the inflammation subsides. Otherwise, patients can expect to return directly to work, school, and other daily activities immediately following a root canal.
At Masterpiece Dental Studio, your comfort is our highest priority. With over 30 years in practice, Dr. Frank J. Vascimini and his staff offer in-depth knowledge and cutting-edge equipment to deliver exceptional dental procedures and an unmatched quality of experience. Masterpiece Dental Studio is the premier dental care facility in Citrus County, Florida. Whether you are calling from Crystal River, Lecanto, Inverness, Beverly Hills, Dunnellon, Citrus Hills, Citrus Springs, or right here in Homosassa, Dr. Vascimini and his team can schedule an appointment to meet your needs.