You may be wondering what a root canal is and how the procedure is performed. The roots of your teeth contain narrow openings known as canals. These canals are filled with nerve fibers and blood vessels that provide sensation and nutrition to your teeth. If the nerves and vessels in the canals are decayed or infected, you may start to experience pain. One of the best ways to repair a diseased tooth is with a root canal.
What Is a Root Canal?
The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) describes root canal treatment as a procedure used to remove harmful bacteria from an inflamed or infected root canal, prevent the tooth from becoming reinfected, and save a natural tooth. Also known as endodontic treatment, a root canal is a relatively painless and extremely effective procedure that can usually be completed in just one or two appointments. Saving a natural tooth with a root canal can lead to more effective chewing, normal biting force and sensation, and a natural appearance.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
It is not always clear whether a root canal is the right treatment for you. Your dentist in Clermont will consider a number of factors before recommending root canal treatment, such as the symptoms you’re experiencing and the overall condition of the tooth. Some common signs that may indicate you need a root canal include:
- Severe Pain – It is important to contact your Clermont dental office if you have tooth pain. Spontaneous pain is usually a sign of an infected tooth that requires treatment.
- Hot and Cold Sensitivity – Ongoing hot and cold sensitivity that tends to linger.
- Bumps on the Gums – Pimple-like bumps that develop on the gums may be a sign of an infected tooth.
- Cracked or Chipped Tooth – Trauma to a tooth, resulting in a crack or chip, can result in an infected or inflamed pulp.
- Swollen or Darkening of the Gums – Swollen or darker-than-usual gums may indicate infection or decay.
- Abscess – If you develop an abscess in your mouth or if your dentist identifies one on an x-ray.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment is a common procedure that can save a severely damaged tooth. Before the procedure, your dentist will numb the area to ensure that you are comfortable during the treatment. He’ll then place a dental dam in the mouth to isolate the tooth that requires treatment.
Next, the dentist will drill through the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. Small instruments are used to clean out these areas and an antiseptic and antibacterial solution is used to clean and disinfect the canals. Your dentist will then shape the canals so that they are ready to receive the filling material.
Gutta-percha is the substance used to fill the canals during a root canal. This rubber-like material is first placed inside the canals and is then heated. Your dentist will also compress the material so that it fills the canals snuggly. Finally, the canals are sealed with adhesive cement to prevent bacteria from entering.
The last step involved in a standard root canal involves filling the hole used to access the canals. Many times, the dentist will place a temporary crown on the treated tooth until they can make a permanent crown. The dentist may need to place a post in the canal to strengthen the tooth if it cannot support a restoration on its own due to damage.
Schedule an Appointment
At Hancock Village Dental, we offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services, including root canal treatment. Contact us today at 352.989.5815 to schedule an appointment.