When one of your close friends tells you that they need a root canal, your typical response will be to attempt to console them for the horrible pain that they are likely to endure. You may touch their shoulder or express your condolences. You may make an empathetic face to assure them that you feel their pain. However, none of this helps when it’s your turn to get a root canal. For that reason, we’ve provided an article that informs you what a root canal is and how it works and hopefully alleviate some of your stress related to the procedure.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is both the name of a condition and the procedure used to correct it. Decay causes the tooth to form a cavity (or a canal) which exposes the nerve beneath.
You’ve likely noticed that your tooth is in pain. This is caused when the nerve is exposed or the tooth has become infected. At the base of the tooth is a canal containing nerves and blood vessels. Most of this is functionally useless. The nerves can sense heat, cold, and vibrations, and when the nerve is inflamed, it registers as pain. If you remove the nerve, you remove the pain.
Causes of Nerve Pain in Teeth
There are essentially two reasons why your tooth is in pain. The first reason is related to decay. The other reason is related to direct trauma to the tooth. If you have a crack or a chip in your tooth, this can increase your risk of nerve pain. In cases where filling a cavity is no longer an aggressive enough option to deal with decay, the nerve can be removed and this will eliminate the possibility of pain.
Do I need a Root Canal?
Any of the following symptoms are a good sign that you need a root canal:
- Serious tooth pain when eating;
- Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers;
- Darkening of the affected tooth; and
- Swelling along the gum where the affected tooth is.
How Does a Root Canal Work?
- Your dentist will take an X-ray of your mouth to locate the infected tooth and the impacted nerve.
- You will receive an injection of novocaine in the nerve cluster leading to your affected tooth.
- The dentist will drill a hole in the tooth and remove the nerve and pulp that is causing your pain.
- The dentist will put a temporary filling in the tooth to seal it off from infection.
- The dentist will then put in a crown or a permanent filling and the process will be complete.
Flagstaff, AZ Root Canals Vs. Dental Implants
Root canals are both cheaper and less invasive than dental implants. That being said, not all teeth will be candidates for a root canal. Some may be too infected or decayed to save. Your dentist will help you make that decision.
Peak Family Dental Offers Top-Quality Dentistry at a Price You Can Afford
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, come down to Peak Family Dental. We have three locations across Arizona and can assist you with a variety of procedures.