- January 21, 2017
The phrase “root canal” makes a lot of people shudder. That reaction is based on old, outdated information that was never all that accurate to begin with. At Shorewood Family Dental Care, we know that a procedure for a root canal is safe and hurts no more than getting a filling.
Why Do People Need a Root Canal?
You might be wondering, “what is a root canal?” The bacteria in your mouth are responsible for tooth decay. Usually, decay begins when bacteria combine with a protein in saliva to form a thin, sticky, invisible film called plaque. Plaque settles on the gum-line around the teeth, and the bacteria in the plaque secrete toxins that attack dental enamel.
If decay continues, it’ll eventually reach the roots of your teeth and infect the pulp inside. The inflammation from a dental infection is very painful, but that’s not the worst part. Unchecked dental infection can lead to teeth loosening and falling out. In some cases, the infectious bacteria enter the bloodstream, where they’ve been linked to a host of serious bodily illnesses.
When teeth are infected due to decay, the right solution is very often to perform a root canal procedure.
What All is Involved in a Root Canal?
As with most dental procedures, the first step in a root canal is ensure that the tooth and the surrounding area are numb. A localized anesthetic is administered, and nothing happens until you tell us that you can’t feel a thing.
For those who are nervous about dental procedures – and maybe about root canals in particular – we offer a number of dental sedation options to help you remain relaxed and comfortable.
First, decayed areas of the tooth are removed. Then, your dentist uses a series of series of endodontic (inside the tooth) rotary files to carefully and gently extract infected pulp. The endodontic procedure also removes the nerve that’s been bothering you so badly.
Once the pulp is cleared, your dentist will clean and sterilize the inside of your tooth before placing a special soft filling. The filling will protect your tooth and help to ensure that it remains healthy. Then, your tooth will prepared for a dental crown that will strengthen and protect it against damage, as well as restoring your ability to eat without pain.
But What About Those Myths?
An expertly performed root canal from one of our Shorewood Family Dental Care dentists alleviates pain. You’re numb throughout the procedure, and at worst you might feel a very slight discomfort afterward.
Another common root canal myth is that the procedure can cause infection. Nothing could be further from the truth! A modern root canal removes infected tissue and prevents the infection from spreading into your bloodstream. Reinfection after a root canal should never happen, and we take great care to ensure that no bacteria are left inside the tooth that could cause further problems.
The last myth is that it’s better, cheaper, and faster to pull the infected tooth. What we know now that we didn’t a hundred years ago is that your natural teeth are always best. Extracting a tooth is always a last resort.
Don’t Ignore Dental Pain
Your teeth aren’t supposed to hurt, and dental pain is always a sign of an underlying problem. Don’t wait for the pain to become unbearable. Call our office today at 815-725-5991 to schedule an appointment. You can also use our online appointment request form.
The sooner you act, the greater the chances of preserving your natural teeth. And your natural teeth are always best.