Root canals get a bad reputation for being painful and something to avoid. However, they’re really nothing that you need to be worried about. Root canals are a simple procedure that actually relieves the pain you’ve been dealing with. Dr. Robert Gauthier of Apex Dental, a dentist in Northborough, MA, explains what you can expect from a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
The root canal is actually a part of your tooth. It’s the hollow part on the inside that contains the dental pulp and nerves. A root canal procedure is needed when this dental pulp becomes infected. This causes it to swell up, pushing against the walls of the natural canal it resides in and causing you pain.
How Do I Know I Need a Root Canal?
Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all. However, most people experience symptoms such as the following:
- Severe tooth pain, particularly when you’re chewing or biting things
- Tooth sensitivity to things that are hot or cold
- Darkening of your tooth
- Gums around a particular tooth being sore or irritated
The Root Canal Process
First, Dr. Gauthier will take x-rays to analyze your tooth and the root canal. He’ll want to get a good handle on your condition and how severe the infection is. This will typically be in a separate appointment before the actual procedure takes place.
During the actual procedure, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to help you relax and eliminate any discomfort. Then, the process starts with a small hole being drilled into the back of your tooth to give access to the canal. Dr. Gauthier will use specialized tools to scrape out all of the infected material from inside your tooth.
After the material is removed, the canal will be cleaned out and disinfected to prevent any further issues. If more infection is found in the tooth, even after the soft material is cleaned out, you’ll be prescribed antibiotics to get rid of it. Your tooth will be sealed temporarily until the infection is completely gone.
Once both debris and infection are gone, we’ll fill the inside of your tooth. We use a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. This ensures that the structure of your tooth stays stable. We then seal the tooth, usually with a dental crown. This allows the tooth to be protected and prevents it from becoming infected again. You’ll also regain the full functionality of your tooth with a dental crown.
At our office, we have CEREC dental technology to get you your dental crown the same day as your procedure. You don’t have to deal with a temporary restoration and multiple appointments. It can be milled in our office and you’ll be set!
Root Canals at Your Northborough, Massachusetts Dentist
Let us help relieve the tooth pain you’re experiencing. Call us or schedule an appointment online!