A root canal is a procedure done to save a tooth that was damaged by decay or infection. During a root canal, the dentist will remove the decayed parts of the tooth along with the nerves, pulp, and any bacteria. He will then replace them with special materials to strengthen the tooth. The results of a root canal typically last the rest of the patient’s life.
While some people believe that simply extracting a tooth will solve the problems caused by advanced decay, in reality, the tooth’s removal will cause problems for the neighboring teeth. For example, they can drift over to fill the space vacated by the damaged tooth and throw the patient’s bite out of alignment.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Root canals are performed by either a dentist or an endodontist, with the latter being a dentist who specializes in treating dental pulp. A root canal can require one or two appointments, and a root canal appointment is generally simple and straightforward.
After cleaning and drying the interior of the tooth, the dentist will fill it with special materials like gutta-percha, which resembles rubber. In most cases, the patient will need a custom-made crown to hold the tooth together and strengthen it. The crown will look like a natural tooth and restore the patient’s ability to chew. The dentist will, therefore, use a temporary filling to protect the tooth.
When the crown is ready, the patient will return for their second appointment. After numbing and isolating the treatment site, the dentist will remove the temporary filling and replace it with the crown.
How Can You Tell if You Need a Root Canal?
Signs that you might need a root canal include the following:
• Severe pain
• Sensitivity to hot and/or cold
• Tenderness and/or swelling
• Abscess on the gums
In some cases, the patient won’t have any symptoms. If they do have any of the above symptoms, they should schedule an appointment with us at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate or Winter Haven. Contact us today to book your appointment and learn more!