Root canals are a procedure that makes some people break out in a cold sweat with just the mention of it. Most people would say that they “know” that root canals are unpleasant and painful. However, it might be surprise you find out that they’re not as bad as you think. As with many other things, people tend to be afraid of what they don’t understand. But, sometimes a little knowledge can help alleviate that fear. Smile Viera, a respected dental practice of Viera, FL would like to take a few moments to teach you about the root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal therapy is what is commonly referred to as simply a “root canal.” This procedure becomes necessary when the soft tissues inside your tooth, called the pulp, become infected. This is usually the result of deep decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the enamel of your tooth. When the infection spreads down through the root canals of your teeth into tissues of your gums an abscess can form. These very severe and painful infections can be dangerous to your overall health as well as to you oral health.
When Do I Need a Root Canal?
When teeth become sensitive to hot and cold and touch — to the point that chewing is painful — and gums become inflamed around the afflicted tooth, a root canal may be necessary. Informing your dental provider of these and any other symptoms you may be experiencing during exams will allow he or she to decide if a root canal is necessary and appropriate for your condition. Some dental offices will perform their own root canals while others will refer you to an endodontist — a dental specialist who specializes in treating the insides of your teeth.
The Root Canal Procedure
A root canal therapy begins with your dentist will thoroughly numbing the area to be treated. Then, he or she drills down into the crown of your infected tooth to remove the infected pulp from inside the tooth and its’ roots. When we become adults, our teeth no longer require the pulp as they continue to be nourished by the surrounding tissues, so it doesn’t hurt for our dentist to remove it.
Once the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material will be placed inside by your dentist to temporarily fill the now-empty interior of your tooth until restoration can begin. In some cases, where tooth decay has eroded the roots and made the tooth unstable, a tiny metal rod can be inserted into the root to secure the tooth in place in your gums.
Restoration is the final stage of the process wherein a crown will be created and placed over your compromised tooth by your dentist. Your dentist or specialist will craft the crown from materials that look and feel natural, matching it to the hue and shape of your other, regular teeth. The crown will seal up the tooth and within several days, the swelling of the inflamed tissues will go subside and the “new” tooth can be used for chewing and be brushed just like your natural teeth.
Why The Bad Reputation?
Many dental consumers avoid root canals due to their mistaken belief that the procedure will be painful or because they may have heard “horror stories” of complications caused by the treatment. Root canals may have been painful decades ago but now the procedure is only about as painful as having a filling placed, thanks to our modern dental technology. As far as the “horror stories” are concerned, poor research about a hundred years ago that root canal treatment led to you being susceptible to illnesses and disease stems from the causes of these diseases and their transmission not being fully understood at the time.
Comfortable Root Canal Treatment in Viera, FL
So the big, bad root canal is actually nothing to be frightened of after all. Instead it’s a helpful procedure designed to alleviate pain and preserve your natural teeth, allowing you to chew correctly and smile confidently. As with most afflictions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so brushing twice daily, flossing and scheduling regular exams with your Smile Viera dentist are all crucial steps to avoid needing a root canal, especially if your teeth have recently developed any chips or cracks. To schedule with Smile Viera today, call (321) 614-3833 or schedule an appointment online.