What is a root canal?
A root canal, also known as endodontic treatment, is a common dental procedure aimed at clearing teeth of infection and restoring them to health. When a tooth has a deep cavity or develops a crack or break, bacteria can infiltrate the pulp tissue deep inside and cause an infection. A root canal procedure effectively cleans out the infection and seals the area to protect it from further damage and repeat infections. Your teeth are made up of several different types of tissues and bone.
Beneath the white enamel that you see is dentin, and inside the dentin lies soft, pulpy tissue that helped to form your teeth during development. The pulp tissue opens into your jawbone, connecting your tooth to the rest of your body. When harmful bacteria enter this soft tissue, it becomes infected. If your dentist tells you a root canal is needed to remediate your tooth, it is imperative that you go through with the procedure. If left untreated, pain and swelling may result. Additionally, a painful abscess may form at the end of the root of your tooth, potentially injuring your jawbone. Failing to treat an infected tooth can be detrimental to your health and may result in the tooth needing to be removed.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits to the Country Club Dental office. First, one of our highly skilled dentists will X-ray the tooth to get a full scope of the infection and damage. After the affected area is diagnosed, a local anesthetic will be applied and the dentist will create a tiny opening in the tooth to remove the infected tissue. Once the damaged tissue is removed, the affected tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and the inside of the root canal will be reshaped. The dentist will then seal the tooth with an adhesive. Finally, a filling is inserted to protect the area from repeat infection. If your tooth is severely decayed, a crown may be used to strengthen it and protect it from breaking.
What are the Symptoms of Needing a Root Canal?
Unfortunately, sometimes there are no symptoms to indicate inner tooth infection and decay. That’s why it is so important to maintain your teeth on a daily basis with good hygiene that includes brushing and flossing. Equally imperative is scheduling and keeping regular dental check-ups with our office. Sometimes, there are tell-tale signs that a root canal is needed to save a tooth. These can include a toothache, painful chewing, discoloration, swelling, tenderness of the gums, and sensitivity to heat or cold.
When it’s Time to Call Country Club Dental
If it’s been awhile since your last check-up, or you are experiencing discomfort or pain, call us today to schedule a consultation. Don’t hesitate if you suspect a dental issue. We’re here to answer your questions and get you on the road to feeling better. At Country Club Dental, we take pride in keeping our Flagstaff patients smiling.