Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility What to Know About Root Canals: Simplified for Your Understanding - Sinquefield Family Dentistry

What to Know About Root Canals: Simplified for Your Understanding

June 22, 2023

What to Know About Root Canals: Simplified for Your Understanding

A visit to the dentist can sometimes make us nervous, especially when we hear the term ‘root canal.’ It has a reputation for being a daunting and uncomfortable procedure. However, with advancements in modern dentistry, there’s no need to fear. Let’s dive into what you should really know about root canals.

Understanding What a Root Canal Is

A root canal is a dental procedure aimed at treating problems within the tooth’s soft core, also known as dental pulp. The dental pulp consists of the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, extending from the crown of the tooth to the roots. It can become inflamed or infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, or a traumatic injury. When this occurs, a root canal treatment may become necessary to save the tooth.

Symptoms that Could Indicate the Need for a Root Canal

While a toothache is a common indicator, there are other symptoms that could suggest a root canal treatment may be required. These can include prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage, or tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gum tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms, and the need for a root canal can only be identified through routine dental check-ups.

The Root Canal Procedure: A More Detailed Look

  1. Examination and X-Ray: The first step involves a thorough dental examination. The dentist will take an X-ray to view the shape of the root canals and check for signs of infection in the surrounding bone.
  2. Local Anesthesia: Fear not, the procedure is typically no more painful than a filling. The dentist will use a local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth to minimize discomfort.
  3. Pulpectomy: Next, the dentist creates an opening to remove the infected or inflamed pulp from the tooth’s root canal. Special dental instruments are used to clean the root canals and shape them to receive the filling material.
  4. Filling: The cleaned and shaped root canals are filled with a biocompatible material, often a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals.
  5. Crown: Following the procedure, the tooth is capped with a crown to protect it, restore its functionality, and improve its appearance. Until the crown is complete, a temporary filling is placed to protect the cleaned and filled canals.

Aftercare and Maintenance Post-Root Canal

Most patients return to their normal activities the very next day following a root canal treatment. To ensure the longevity of the treated tooth, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice daily, regular flossing, and routine dental check-ups. Additionally, try to avoid chewing on hard foods with the treated tooth to prevent it from breaking.

Root canal treatments are highly effective and can often save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.

For further information about root canal procedures or to schedule an appointment, visit Sinquefield Family Dentistry. Our team offers a comprehensive range of dental services to help you maintain optimal dental health.

Schedule Your Dental Checkup Now

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and does not substitute professional dental advice. Always consult with your dentist for personalized advice.