Preserving your natural teeth is important for keeping your smile looking and feeling healthy. A root canal is an option for teeth that are badly damaged or infected yet do not need a tooth extraction. Our dentists at Singing River Dentistry are professionally trained in performing root canals to restore the health and comfort to your smile.
What is a Root Canal?
In the center of your tooth, there is a soft core called the dental pulp. This pulp runs through your tooth from the very top of your tooth to the root in the jawbone. When your tooth is cracked, bacteria can easily find its way inside the tooth and into the dental pulp. When bacteria get inside, it can access the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues enclosed within the dental pulp. Bacteria, and other decaying material, can cause a serious infection with direct access to the nerves. If it continues, the dental pulp can die which would lead to bone loss and losing the tooth.
A root canal is a treatment option that can clean out the dental pulp, discard of the bacteria, and seal the tooth to prevent more decaying material from entering. It is a preventative measure to save as much of the tooth as possible. If left unattended, it may lead to a tooth extraction.
What are the Symptoms that You Might Need a Root Canal?
Many people might only understand they need a root canal after their dentist informs them. However, there are a few signs to be aware of that might necessitate you needing one. If you have swelling around your face, neck, or in your gums, you notice a hole in your tooth, have severe pain from a single tooth or an area within your mouth, you should schedule an appointment immediately.
What is a Root Canal Procedure?
Our dentists will first perform a dental x-ray to see how deep the damage of the tooth goes. Once a treatment plan is set, we will apply a local anesthetic to the procedure area so you will feel pressure, but no pain. Our dentists will begin to remove the decay from the tooth, and then create an opening through the crown of the tooth. Through the opening, the root canals are thoroughly cleaned.
The root canal should be dry and completely clean before placing a crown to seal the tooth. Our dentists use a filling to seal the root canal and ensure that no saliva enters into the opening of the tooth. A crown is then placed, shaped, and polished into place to seal the tooth and to allow for a natural-looking finish of the tooth.
How to Care for your Teeth Following a Root Canal
Following a root canal and the healing time required, the crown used to cover your tooth should be cared for in the same way as your natural teeth. It may be sensitive for a few days following the procedure. Daily and routine brushing, flossing, and rinsing are needed to maintain the health of the treated tooth and to help provide for your overall oral health.
If you are concerned for your oral health because of a painful tooth, call our professionals at Singing River Dentistry today, at (256) 562-4001. Our dentists are always ready to help you maintain and improve your oral hygiene and preserve your natural smile.
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