Root Canal Treatment in Stafford, VA
Getting a root canal is often referred to with distress as it can be a difficult procedure to recover from. However, root canals are routine dental procedures and give patients the opportunity to save a severely decayed or infected tooth, preventing more costly and difficult procedures like implants and bridges.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that is intended to save a tooth with extreme decay or infection. During the procedure, the pulp, which is the soft center of a tooth comprised of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels, is removed. Once the infected pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed off to prevent further decay.
Why Would Someone Need a Root Canal?
As we mentioned, a root canal is necessary when the inner pulp of the tooth has become deeply infected or is decaying. By removing this infected pulp, the crown of the tooth (the part you can see above the gums) is allowed to remain in place. This is typically a last effort to save a natural tooth and avoid removing it completely.
Common issues that can require a root canal include:
- Untreated cavities resulting in deep decay
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- A tooth injury
- One tooth requiring multiple dental procedures.
Signs That You May Need a Root Canal
Since a root canal has to do with the inner pulp of the tooth being damaged, decayed or infected, you may not see any visible issues with your teeth. Because of this, it’s important to visit a dentist right away if you’re experiencing any of the following issues, as they may be a sign that a root canal is necessary:
- Severe tooth pain when chewing or talking
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Tooth discoloration
- Discomfort of swelling of the gums
Steps of a Root Canal Procedure
A small amount of numbing cream will be applied to the infected area.
Once the numbing cream is effective, a local anesthetic will be injected into the gums around the affected tooth. This prevents any sharp pain during the procedure.
3. Pulp Removal
The pulp will then be removed via a small opening at the top of the tooth. This is completed using small instruments called files.
The canals in the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
A topical antibiotic may be used to rid the area of infection and prevent further issues. Your dentist may also prescribe oral antibiotics for after the procedure.
The tooth will be filled with a sealer paste to close off the open canals.
The small opening at the top of the tooth that was created to remove the pulp will be filled with a temporary material that prevents any damage to the sensitive tooth.