Root canal therapy is a common dental procedure that involves removing infected or inflamed dental pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) and then cleaning and sealing off the inside of the tooth to avoid further infection and damage. A root canal is usually the last step performed to save a natural tooth and avoid extraction.
Read on as Drs. Cory and Jennifer Chambers of Cobblestone Park Family Dental explain when a root canal is performed and what to expect during the procedure.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
A root canal surgery becomes necessary when the dental pulp becomes infected or inflamed. This can be a result of tooth decay caused by a cavity, trauma to the tooth, a crack, chip or repeated dental procedures that have weakened the tooth. If inflamed or infected dental pulp is left untreated, it can lead to an array of dental issues, including abscess, gum damage and tooth loss.
Only a dentist can determine whether a root canal is necessary. However, here are a few signs that may indicate you are in need of one:
- Tooth pain
- Tenderness to touch and chewing
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold
- Tooth discoloration
- Drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes, jaw bone and gum tissues
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important that you see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid further and more serious damage.
What to Expect During a Root Canal
The idea of undergoing a root canal may be intimidating, but modern techniques have made the procedure safer and more comfortable than ever before. To begin, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the tooth and surrounding area. Next, a small opening is created in the crown of the tooth through which the dentist will remove the infected dental pulp and thoroughly clean the pulp chamber and root canals. The pulp chamber and root canals are shaped and filled with a biocompatible material before the tooth is sealed off to avoid future infection. A dental crown or other restoration may be placed to protect and strengthen the tooth. Once your tooth is fully healed, you can expect to bite and chew normally again.
Contact Cobblestone Park Family Dental
If you suspect your toothache or other symptoms are a result of infection or inflammation, or you have been told you need a root canal, schedule a personal consultation with the dentists at Cobblestone Park Family Dental. Call our Oklahoma City at (405) 603-8520.