Persistent pain in the area around a single tooth may indicate that it is extremely infected or decayed. The good news is Dr. J.S. Mann at Sterling Family Dentistry can often relieve discomfort quickly with a root canal treatment, saving a tooth that is severely damaged. Though the term “root canal” has a notorious association with pain, with all of the advances in the field of dental care and pain management, receiving a root canal treatment is now a comfortable and efficient way to preserve and restore your oral health.
What Is a Root Canal Treatment?
The root canal process generally begins the same way as a filling does, and with no greater discomfort: an anesthetic is administered to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. Next, a small opening is made in the surface of the affected tooth to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals. Tiny instruments are used to remove the pulp tissue from inside these narrow passageways. The chamber and empty canals are then cleaned, disinfected, and prepared to receive a filling of inert, biocompatible material. Finally, adhesive cement is used to seal the opening in the tooth, preventing future infection. The procedure is typically done in one visit but may require more than one visit, depending on the severity of the infection and the type of restoration.
When Is a Root Canal Treatment Needed?
When decay and infection cause damage to the nerve and pulp of a tooth, a root canal treatment is performed. Common symptoms that indicate a possible need for root canal treatment are:
- Consistent pain (may include throbbing) in the tooth area
- Pain caused by the pressure of chewing or as an extended reaction to contact with hot and cold temperatures
- Tender, swollen gums
- The appearance of a pimple on the gums