Root Canal Treatments 101: What You Need to Know
For many people, the assumption is that root canal treatment – also known as endodontic treatment or therapy – is a painful, invasive procedure, performed by dental specialists. But are these assumptions correct?
In this blog post, we’ll look at what root canal treatments are, and their role in overall dental health.
Endodontic treatment: a primer
Root canal treatment describes the procedure in which the inner part of an infected tooth – the pulp – is removed.
Your root canals contain nerves and blood vessels which, due to many reasons such as cracks, decay or deep fillings, can become infected or inflamed. This results in severe pain due to pulpitis, also known as toothache. Removing the infected pulp is a common and standard procedure – and can leave you with a pain-free smile for the rest of your life!
When do you need a root canal?
It is important to talk to your dentist if you have any regular or overwhelming pain coming from your teeth. While tooth pain can be a symptom of a number of other issues with your teeth, jaw, or even your sinuses, it is crucial to check that your teeth are okay. After all, it is important to be able to eat, drink, and smile without feeling pain. Common signs that you may be due for a root canal include:
- Lingering and debilitating tooth pain when eating, or when light pressure is put on the teeth.
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli, especially if the sensation lingers.
- Inflammation of the gums around the tooth.
- Significant tooth discoloration.
Not dealing with the infected pulp of your root can lead to complications. This can include an abscessed tooth, the death of the tooth itself, abscesses, or damage to the surrounding teeth and gum area.
Is there anything to worry about with a root canal?
Root canals have a reputation as being an invasive, painful procedure – among the worst in dental surgery.
The assumption, however, that root canals are a debilitating, painful procedure is largely false and based on olden day dentistry. The pain and discomfort you feel in your teeth leading up to the procedure are often far worse than the procedure itself.
While all invasive procedures are associated with slight discomfort, here at Naenae Dental Clinic we pride ourselves in using modern techniques and strong anaesthetic to ensure your treatment is pain-free and comfortable. Some pain is normal following the completion of the treatment due to tissue inflammation, however this is usually much less than the toothache itself and subsides within a few days.
The root canal procedure
The procedure is straightforward. Your initial visit to your dentist will likely include X-rays, to see the shape of your roots and understand the extent of infection.
During the procedure, a local anaesthetic will likely be used to dull the pain in the tooth itself and the surrounding area. During the procedure, an access hole will be made through your tooth, in order to remove the pulp and associated bacteria. The canal will then be cleaned thoroughly, lined with medicine and sealed off. Follow-up appointments are usually required in order to complete the 2-stage procedure.
Restore your smile to full glory at Naenae Dental
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, get in touch with Naenae Dental Clinic today. As one of the leading Wellington dentists, we are experts at helping you achieve healthy teeth and gums – and we understand that you deserve to eat, drink, and smile without pain.