Root canals are one of the most common forms of endodontic treatments with millions of procedures performed every year. Our dentist in Hudson may recommend root canal therapy to save a tooth that is badly infected or decayed. Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not painful and are very similar to having a routine filling.
Do You Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is performed when the pulp of the tooth — or the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth — become damaged or infected. During a root canal, the diseased or damaged pulp is removed before the interior cavity of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. The pulp of the tooth can become infected or damaged in many ways:
You may need a root canal if you have a toothache. A tooth that is alive and needs a root canal is often sensitive to hot and cold and the sensitivity can continue even after the stimulus is removed. Hot sensitivity in particular is a sign that a tooth needs a root canal. If the tooth is dead and abscessed, you may feel pain when you chew or put pressure on the tooth. An abscess can cause swelling of the gums, cheek, jaw, and throat.
How a Root Canal is Performed
Concerned about an upcoming root canal? You aren’t alone. The good news is root canal therapy is painless — and it relieves the tooth pain you may be experiencing now. Here’s how a root canal is performed.
Step 1: Local anesthesia is administered by injection to numb your tooth and the surrounding tissue. The procedure does not begin until your mouth is completely numb.
Step 2: A dental dam, or rubber sheet, is placed over your tooth and adjacent teeth with the affected tooth protruding through a hole to isolate it from the rest of your mouth.
Step 3: The dentist will drill a small hole into the bite surface of your tooth (or the back of the tooth if your front tooth needs a root canal). This hole will be used to access the canals of the tooth and the pulp.
Step 4: The dead and diseased pulp is removed along with the nerves. The canals can then be disinfected.
Step 5: The canals of your tooth will be shaped with special tools so the dentist can fit filling and a sealer inside.
Step 6: A rubber-like filling material that is heated and compressed is used to fill the open canal space to keep out bacteria.
Step 7: A permanent or temporary filling is placed to seal the access hole and your dental dam is removed. If your tooth lacks the structure for a filling, a post can be installed in one of the canals.
A root canal can save your natural tooth, eliminate your toothache, retain the appearance and normal biting sensation of your teeth, and help protect your other teeth from wear and stains. If you have a persistent toothache or signs of an abscessed tooth, it’s time to contact a Medicaid dentist in Hudson for an exam. Contact us today to set up your appointment and get to the bottom of your tooth pain.