A root canal is a procedure designed to save a seriously infected tooth. We often recommend this treatment for those with inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth.
Root canals are often portrayed in movies and TV as painful or scary. Fortunately, at Champaign Dental Group, modern techniques and medicines allow us to perform this procedure with very little discomfort to our patients. Root canals are effective, straightforward, and have very minimal risk involved.
Root canals can alleviate pain and discomfort in patients with severe infection or decay in the soft tissue of a tooth. Infections can exist without warning signs. However, they are usually easy to spot.
Some signs you may need a root canal procedure include:
Call us right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Early treatment can mean the difference between saving a tooth and having to extract it.
A root canal, or endodontic treatment, involves the removal of the infected pulp and soft tissue along the tooth’s nerve. This nerve is located inside the tooth’s root canal or pulp chamber. After the infected tissues are removed from your tooth, your dentist will clean the tooth and fill it with a hard, protective material.
To finish your treatment, your tooth will be topped with a permanent crown. Your crown will be designed to match the color of your teeth and will look and feel just like new!
To begin, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic to the affected area. An additional sedative, such as laughing gas, may be provided to patients with dental anxiety. After your anesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will place a dental dam around the tooth to isolate it and keep the area free of saliva.
Next, he or she will make a small opening at the top of the tooth. Any infected pulp and tissue will be carefully cleaned and disinfected. Once all of the infection has been removed, your dentist will shape the tooth’s root canal to make it ready for the filling.
Once your tooth has been cleaned and medicated, it will be filled with a sturdy, rubber-like material. This material is biocompatible and will not cause any pain or irritation. Your dentist will finish the procedure by placing either a temporary filling or permanent crown over the tooth. This will strengthen the tooth while protecting it from additional infection.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes possible for a tooth that has had a root canal to become re-infected. If you believe your tooth has become infected again, call right away and speak to your dentist about possible treatments.
If you are interested in learning about root canals, contact our office today at 937-653-8650 to talk with a member of our team or schedule an appointment. We are always happy to answer your questions and discuss your treatment options!