What is a Root Canal Procedure?
There are few medical procedures as maligned as root canals. Many popular shows, movies, and other cultural media reference root canals as being something scary and painful, something that should be avoided. But all of these frightening references are not as relevant to the modern root canal treatment, which typically isn't just quick and comfortable but also often very necessary to relieve pain and can preserve the natural tooth from needing an extraction.
The Basics of a Root Canal
A root canal is a dental procedure that eliminates bacteria from an infected root canal. If this bacteria is allowed to fester and remain without removal, then the patient risks reinfection and, with it, the likely loss of the natural tooth. Root canals prevent this.
A root canal procedure removes the bacteria and thereby the inflamed or infected pulp. Once removed, the dentist then carefully cleans and disinfects the area before filling and sealing the root canal. In fact, today's root canal treatments are completed very similarly to a standard tooth filling for many patients' teeth and situations.
When Do You Need a Root Canal?
Root canals are generally required for cracked or broken teeth, deep and advanced cavities, and sometimes as a secondary option following a failed or problematic filling. Some common symptoms that indicate a need for a root canal include:
- Severe pain when chewing or biting
- Pimples or pus appearing on the gums (fun fact, odd acne breakouts, especially in adults, often indicate an underlying issue where the breakout occurs)
- Swollen or tender gums
- Gum decay or darkening of the gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Lasting tooth sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods and items
How the Root Canal Procedure Works
Root canals are performed by either a general dentist or an endodontist -- highly skilled dental professionals who specialize in diagnosing and performing root canal procedures and other treatments to relieve tooth pain. A root canal procedure can usually be done in one visit, but may require two separate visits.
Once you meet with your dental team and they schedule your root canal procedure, you can expect the following steps:
- First, x-rays are needed to be taken in order for your doctor to assess the damage. Then, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area while operating on the tooth to keep the pain from interfering.
- Next, the affected tooth needs to be isolated. A rubber-like sheet called a dental dam or a self retracting aspirator (like Isodry) is often put in your mouth to keep saliva out and your tooth clean during this process.
- Then, much like a filling, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth to gain access to the pulp area. The infected or diseased pulp is removed along with any other tooth decay.
- Finally, the whole area is cleaned, disinfected, filled, and sealed.
Today's root canal procedures are swift and relatively painless. Most patients report mild discomfort for just 2-4 hours following the procedure. In many cases, one can go directly to work afterward. It is recommended to avoid eating until the numbness is gone and avoid eating with the crown until the following day.
Come See Us at Solis Dental
Don't let the pain and other symptoms of an infected tooth go on. Come see your local Hutto dentist to schedule a consultation about your potential root canal procedure. We are proud to be a member of this community and even more proud to give back!
New patients are always welcome, and we strive to make the entire process easy and stress-free. You can book an appointment with us online or contact us directly via email or phone by calling us at (512) 846-3787.
At Solis Dental, we strive for excellence through quality care, sustainable practices and performance-driven results. We delightfully seek to improve your oral health
to help you achieve your ideal self, so that you feel empowered to engage the world with a smile and inspire a perpetuating cycle of goodwill. We endeavor
to create a welcoming and modern environment of solace and trust, where we can deliver a memorable experience, quality results, and comprehensive oral health
to you, your loved ones, and our community.
To learn more about Solis Dental, please call us at (512)-846-3787 and join our journey on Facebook and Instagram @OurDentalSolis