What is a Root Canal?
Each of your teeth has a tiny passage running through it filled with pulp made of nerves and blood vessels. This passage is called the root canal. However, the phrase root canal is usually used to refer the process of removing and replacing infected, injured or dead pulp from the canal.
To be told they need a root canal (or endodontic) treatment is enough to strike fear in the hearts of many Canadians, but in reality, the procedure is simple and doesn’t cause much pain. In fact, an infected or injured tooth almost always hurts more than the treatment.
When is a Root Canal Treatment Needed?
Root canal treatments are usually recommended when there’s an infection inside a tooth. These can be caused by an untreated cavity or when a crack or injury allows bacteria to enter the root canal. If an infected tooth isn’t treated in a timely manner, the infection can become so severe that the tooth needs to be removed altogether.
How is a Root Canal Treatment Performed?
There are four steps to a root canal treatment, performed over one or two visits to the dental office:
- The dentist numbs the tooth using local anesthesia and then isolates it with a dental dam to keep it clean and dry.
- Using a drill, the dentist accesses the inside of the tooth. They’ll remove the diseased or dead pulp using small files and then irrigate the chamber with water or an antimicrobial solution.
- The dentist fills the chamber, often with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. The opening is then closed with a temporary filling.
- A permanent crown or other type of restoration will be made and placed on the tooth. Depending on the tooth’s condition, a supporting post may be used to make the crown more stable.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
As with any procedure involving your teeth, you may feel pain for a few days after your root canal. You can take over-the-counter pain medications or stronger prescription painkillers for a day or two to control the discomfort. Avoid biting down or chewing with the repaired tooth until you receive your permanent crown. Brush and floss as you normally would and use an antiseptic mouthwash if prescribed by your dentist.
Contact Amazing Smile for Your Root Canal in Langley
Don’t let the fear of a root canal stop you from seeing your dentist about a painful or injured tooth. Call Amazing Smile Dental today to have it taken care of.