We will tell you that you need a root canal if we find an infection inside your tooth. Although it may sound intimidating, a root canal leads to immediate pain relief. Plus, you will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area, meaning you will feel nothing throughout the procedure.
How Do Teeth Become Infected?
In the middle of the root of every tooth is the pulp. This contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp can become infected due to bacteria from tooth decay, damage to the tooth, or numerous procedures on the same tooth. To stop the infection from spreading, you need to remove the affected pulp.
What Does a Root Canal Involve?
The root canal procedure is similar to receiving a filling. We drill a hole in your tooth, remove the pulp, and clean the inside of the tooth. To protect against future infection, we fill your tooth with a material called gutta-percha and seal the tooth with a crown. The entire procedure requires just one or two visits to the clinic.
Recovering from Your Root Canal
Although a root canal sounds like an invasive procedure, recovery time is usually fast — as little as two or three days. You will be able to eat as normal, but you should avoid biting the side of your mouth that received the root canal to protect the new crown.
Why Root Canals Are Important
If you leave an infected tooth untreated, the pulp will become more inflamed and may lead to a painful abscess. You also increase the risk of losing your tooth. Whenever possible, we try to save your natural tooth, as this allows you to continue eating and speaking normally as well as maintaining your appearance. If we are unable to save the tooth, you will need a replacement, such as an implant.