While the name root canal has the power to inspire fear in many people, the procedure itself isn’t as bad as you might think. People tend to fear what they don’t understand but some knowledge can go far towards allaying those fears. Charlotte, NC dentist Dr. Durning Moore wants to educate dental patients so they aren’t avoiding procedures that might help them in the long run.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is often commonly called simply a “root canal”. This procedure may become necessary when the tissues inside your tooth, called the pulp, become infected, usually as the result of deep tooth decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the surface of your tooth enamel. This infection in the pulp can spread down through the root canals of your teeth into tissues of your gums to become an abscess. This is a very severe and painful infection that can be dangerous to your overall health if allowed to fester.
When Do I Need a Root Canal?
Signs that a root canal treatment might be needed are sensitivity of the tooth to hot and cold substances, sensitivity to touch or while chewing, and sensitive, inflamed gum tissue around the tooth. Informing your dentist of these and any other symptoms you may be having during routine dental exams will allow your dentist to decide if a root canal is necessary and appropriate for your dental issue. Some dentists will perform their own root canals, while others will refer you to an endodontist, which is a dental specialist who treats the insides of your teeth.
The Root Canal Procedure
First, your dentist will thoroughly numb the tooth to be treated and the surrounding area. Then, your dentist or endodontist will drill down into the crown of your infected tooth and draw out the infected pulp from inside the tooth and the root canals. Once we reach adulthood, our teeth no longer require the pulp inside as they continue to be nourished by the surrounding tissues.
Once the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material will be used to temporarily fill the now-empty interior of your tooth until restoration can begin. In some cases, where tooth decay has completely compromised one of the roots, making the tooth unstable, a tiny metal rod may need to be inserted down through the tooth and its root to hold it in place in your gums.
Restoration is the part of the process in which a crown will be crafted and placed over your damaged tooth. Your dentist or specialist will create the crown, matching it to the natural hue of your teeth, and cap your tooth with it, sealing it up against future infections. Within several days of the procedure, the swelling of the inflamed tissues will go down and the “new” tooth can be used to chew and can be cleaned just like your natural teeth.
Comfortable Root Canal Treatment in Charlotte, NC
So root canals aren’t actually as scary as you’ve heard. They are really a helpful therapy designed to alleviate dental pain and save your natural teeth, allowing you to once again chew properly and smile confidently. As with most illnesses, it’s easier to prevent even needing a root canal. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily and scheduling routine appointments with Dr. Moore in Charlotte, NC or your local area dentist are all important steps to avoid needing a root canal, especially if know your teeth have recently developed any chips or cracks. But if you do need a root canal, now you know there’s nothing to fear. To schedule with Dr. Moore today, call (704) 761-7870 or schedule an appointment online.