Root canals have a bad reputation. People tend to fear them because they’re portrayed as a painful procedure to fear. However, they aren’t something that you have to be worried about if you need to get one. Drs. Karl and Walter Neuhaus of Creekside Dental, dentists in Amherst, NY, explain when you can expect from the root canal process.
What’s a Root Canal?
The root canal actually refers to the hollow part inside your tooth. It contains the dental pulp and nerves. However, the term root canal is often used to reference a root canal procedure. These are needed when an infection reaches the dental pulp inside your tooth. It makes the dental pulp swell up and it pushes against the walls of the tooth. This is what actually causes the pain that people think of when they think of a root canal.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
Some people might not even have any symptoms that can warn them that they need a root canal. Others might have a variety of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain in the tooth, particularly when you’re chewing or biting something
- Tooth sensitivity to things that are hot or cold that lasts a long time
- The tooth looks darker or is discolored
- Gums that are sore or tender around the affected tooth
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact your Amherst, New York dentists right away. Needing a root canal means that the interior of your tooth is infected. If you let this infection go, it can infect more and more of your tooth. This can lead to the need for a full tooth extraction instead of just a root canal procedure.
The Root Canal Procedure Process
First, one of our experienced dentists will do a thorough examination of your mouth and the tooth in particular. The infection can be officially diagnosed and then we can take the proper steps to get it treated. The pain comes from the infection in the tooth. A root canal procedure itself isn’t much different from getting a dental filling.
First, a dentist drills a small hole in the back of your tooth. This allows them to access the infected tooth pulp. Using special tools, they’ll scrape out all of the infected material. The inside of the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned out so that none of the infection remains. It’s then filled with a biocompatible material to help stabilize the tooth.
Most root canals are finished off with a dental crown. The crown is fitted and shaped specifically for that tooth in particular. It’s color-matched with the rest of your smile so that it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. The dental crown gives you back the full function of your tooth and also helps protect it from any further infection in the future.
Getting a Root Canal at Your Amherst, New York Dentist
A root canal isn’t something that you should be afraid of. If you think you need a root canal, call us or schedule an appointment online.