- Dental, Health

Dental care simplified: A guide to root canal therapy

Tooth decay could become a serious concern; especially the infection reaches the pulp. If the inside of a tooth is impacted, the dentist will have to do a procedure called root canal treatment. You may also need this treatment if one of your teeth is injured or impacted. If you are visiting your Palm Harbor, FL dentist for the procedure, here’s what you need to know beforehand.

What causes damage to the pulp?

If you have deep decay in a tooth, which is left untreated, the infection will eventually impact the pulp, which contains soft tissues. Sometimes, when multiple procedures are done on the same tooth, the pulp may get affected. An injury, chip, or crack can also impact a tooth.

When do you need root canal therapy?

Your dentist will do a few x-rays to determine the extent of the decay or infection, and if they find evident symptoms that the root canals are infected, they will recommend the procedure. Symptoms that one may need root canal therapy include sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, severe toothache, and abscess in the gums. You may also have swelling and tenderness in the gums.

Does root canal treatment hurt?

Your dentist will typically do the root canal treatment under local anesthesia, and there is unlikely to be any pain. You may face some discomfort, and the whole idea of watching thin needles go inside the tooth may be overwhelming, but the procedure can be completed in just two to three appointments.

What is the procedure like?

Your dentist will use a numbing medication to numb the tooth and gums surrounding it, following which a small opening will be created on the top. The dentist will then use special files to remove the pulp, tissues, and decay. The dentist will then use a topical antibiotic to avoid further infections and will clean the tooth from the inside thoroughly. Finally, they will seal the tooth with a special material known as gutta-percha. If the whole procedure cannot be completed in one session, your dentist will use a special temporary filling until your next appointment.

You may need to get a crown on top to add strength to the treated tooth, which is now hollow on the inside. If you have any concerns, talk to your dentist, and make sure they know your medical history. With root canal treatment, it is possible to save an infected tooth from extraction.

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