- Find Your Location
GETTING TO KNOW THE MODERN ROOT CANAL
Although you don’t know precisely what a root canal is, you probably are afraid of getting one. Root canals have become synonymous with pain; however, modern root canals are faster, more effective, and thanks to sedation methods, you don’t have to be concerned about feeling pain. There’s still a lot of mystery about root canals – What are they? Who needs them? What do they fix? Learn more about the basics of root canal therapy in this guide and contact a board-certified dentist in Cary, NC to schedule an oral health appointment.
WHY WOULD I NEED A ROOT CANAL?
All of your teeth are made up of the crown (the portion of your tooth visible over the gumline) and the roots (the tips of your tooth connected to your jawbone and held in place by your gums). The enamel is the hard exterior of your teeth that protects the interior pulp (soft tissue, nerves, and blood vessels). When the enamel is damaged, it allows bacteria to get into the pulp. When your tooth becomes infected (also called a dental abscess), a root canal is required to remove the infection. Without a root canal, the infection can destroy the tooth and spread to your other teeth, gums, and jawbone.
WHAT CAUSES A TOOTH INFECTION?
SIGNS OF AN INFECTED TOOTH
If you have symptoms of an infected tooth, schedule an oral health evaluation and consultation with your board-certified dentist in Cary, NC. Tell your dental team about your concerns and how long you have had symptoms. Your dentist can take digital x-rays, perform a manual inspection, and use other tools to confirm your problem. If your tooth is abscessed or infected, your dentist may recommend a root canal therapy. At DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads, we offer different sedation methods, like nitrous oxide gas and oral-conscious sedation, to keep you comfortable during your procedure. These options should be selected before you schedule your procedure so you will know if you can drive after your root canal.
GETTING A ROOT CANAL
When you arrive for your scheduled root canal, you will be taken to a treatment room where your dental team will help you lay back and get comfortable. If you have been prescribed an oral-conscious medication, this should start to work. Patients receiving nitrous oxide gas will have a small hood placed over their nose, so they can start to relax. The gum tissue around the tooth will be numbed with a local anesthetic and a dental dam may be used to keep the tooth clean and dry throughout the procedure. To begin your root canal, any contaminated enamel will be cleaned from the outside of the tooth. After this, your dentist will take out the pulp, then they will clean out and disinfect the interior of the tooth. The tooth will now be filled with a special compound made of sealant and rubber paste. Once the tooth is filled and sealed, your dentist will normally place a dental crown over it for strength and protection.
AFTER YOUR ROOT CANAL
After a root canal, you should plan to go home and take it easy for at least the remainder of the day. Your mouth may feel a little sore and sensitive, so many patients prefer a liquid or soft foods diet. You should keep your mouth clean with gentle brushing and rinsing with mouthwash. Your dentist may prescribe anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and/or pain medication to help your mouth heal. Your dentist will likely ask you to schedule a follow-up visit so they can make sure the infection is cleared.
PREVENT A ROOT CANAL
One major thing you can do to avoid getting a root canal is make appointments at your dentist in Cary, NC at least twice every year for a dental health evaluation and professional cleaning. During exams and cleanings, your dental team will check for issues like cavities and chipped or cracked teeth that may result in an infection. By treating the smaller issue, you can steer clear of an infection, which will need a root canal. It’s also advisable to make sure you are brushing and flossing your teeth correctly twice a day at home. If you need advice on proper home oral hygiene or you want to schedule an appointment for an exam and cleaning, contact DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads. Our friendly team is happy to help you improve the health and appearance of your smile so we don’t have to perform a root canal or any other procedures.