A root canal is a restorative dental treatment that removes infection and decay from the innermost tissue of a tooth. A root canal is a relatively simple procedure that’s performed under a local anesthetic. It’s designed to save damaged teeth rather than remove them.
The pulp is found inside the tooth and contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Although the pulp can become infected due to severe tooth decay, it can also be damaged due to injury or trauma.
During a root canal, the dentist will remove the damaged pulp, clean and disinfect the root canals, and place a dental crown over the tooth. While the procedure is highly effective for saving teeth, it can also cause some mild dental pain. After a root canal, over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to manage the pain.
Why is a root canal needed?
A root canal may be needed if your teeth exhibit signs of infection. Signs of infection can include:
- Severe tooth pain
- Gum swelling
- Inflamed gums
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your dentist to schedule a consultation.
What happens during a root canal?
During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged enamel on your tooth. Then, your dentist will gently reshape the inner area of your tooth, creating a smooth, clean surface. Finally, your dentist will fill your tooth with dental materials, such as gutta-percha. Root canals have a high success rate of 90% to 95%.
Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is not painful. If it is done correctly, it shouldn’t hurt at all. Sometimes, patients will feel discomfort after the procedure, but that will be due to inflammation from an infection. The inflammation will go away once the body starts to heal.
What are the alternatives to a root canal?
There are alternatives to a root canal. However, we typically recommend a root canal because it is more predictable for successful treatment. If a tooth is cracked or decayed, a root canal may be the best way to prevent or treat infection, stop the pain, and save money in the long run.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Gerard and Moore Dental, call (505)-293-6125 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 8310 Palomas Ave NE Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87109.