A root canal has a bad reputation for being a painful and unpleasant experience. In fact, a root canal is no more painful or involved than having a dental filling placed. The pain associated with a root canal comes from the infection and the root canal procedure often provides immediate relief.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to the root canal procedure is that you are able to retain your natural tooth rather than have it removed.
Dr. Gauthier performs root canal procedures in the comfort of his Northborough, MA dental office. Patients are made to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible before, during and after treatment.
The Structure of a Tooth
The term “root canal” actually refers to the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. The tooth’s nerve is located inside the root canal, surrounded by soft tissue called pulp. If the tooth is damaged or has decay, bacteria and debris can enter into the root canal area and cause an infection.
Root Canal Symptoms
Some patients do not experience any symptoms that would indicate the need for a root canal procedure. Other patients, however, may experience painful symptoms including:
- Severe toothache or tooth pain, particularly when chewing or biting
- Prolonged tooth sensitivity, especially to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Discoloration of the tooth (darkening)
- Soreness or tenderness to the gums surrounding the affected tooth
About the Root Canal Procedure
The root canal procedure may take anywhere from one to three visits, depending on your condition. First, Dr. Gauthier will take diagnostic x-rays to evaluate the tooth and root canal. An anesthetic may be administered to help the patient relax and relieve discomfort.
A small hole will be made to allow access to the inside of the tooth. The infected tissue and damaged nerve will be removed and the root canal will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. If infection is found, antibiotics may be prescribed and the tooth will be temporarily sealed until the infection has healed.
Once the infection is clear and the root canal is free of debris, it will be filled with a biocompatible material and sealed. Next, Dr. Gauthier will cover the tooth with either a dental filling or dental crown to protect the root canal from future damage and add strength to the tooth.
If you or a member of your family are experiencing discomfort please call 508-506-1691 or schedule an appointment online.