Root canals have a bad reputation as some sort of scary procedure that involves a lot of pain, but that could not be further from the truth. The reality is, root canals are actually a painless procedure that does not even require the use of an anesthetic. All you feel during your root canal is pressure and vibrations from your dentist working on your teeth.
Common Root Canal Questions
When are root canals needed?
A root canal treatment usually deals with a severely decayed tooth where the decay reaches the pulp and nerves inside. After this, the nerves inside the pulp are exposed to all the irritants in your mouth, making it vulnerable to infection. The issues that make root canal procedures necessary are what causes pain. All a root canal does is restore the structure of the tooth and alleviate the pain coming from it.
What to expect during a root canal
There is no need to be nervous about a root canal treatment. If anything, you may feel relief since you will no longer have to deal with persistent toothaches once the procedure is complete. During your appointment, your dentist will apply a topical anesthetic to numb the area of your mouth that will need the anesthetic. This is the only part of a root canal that may have a small amount of pain from inserting the needle.
In many cases, the shot of anesthetic actually will not hurt at all since the topical anesthetic will already be taking effect. All you might feel is a slight sting from the solution moving through your gum tissues. The anesthetic during root canals is not always necessary since there is a good chance the nerve of the tooth is already dead by the time you need a root canal. The anesthetic is simply a precaution.
Next, your dentist will drill a hole in the tooth to remove the pulp and the nerves inside using a series of files. Next, it is time to clean the tooth and apply medication to deal with any infection. Once complete, your dentist will seal the hole with filling. The newly repaired tooth is then covered with a crown to protect it from further decay. The entire process normally takes less than an hour.
Are root canals the only way to deal with severe decay?
Absolutely not. You also have the option of extracting a tooth if the tooth has severe decay. The problem is, you need most of your teeth to keep your smile healthy, so extractions are only a last resort, except for wisdom teeth.
If you get any other tooth beside one of your wisdom teeth extracted, you will eventually need to replace it with an implant to prevent bone loss and your teeth shifting. There is no need to suffer from persistent toothaches when you have a tooth that's severely decayed. Contact North Tampa Dentistry to find out if a root canal treatment is right for you.
You can request a dental appointment to further discuss root canals here: https://www.northtampadentistry.com or call North Tampa Dentistry at (813) 430-0933 for an appointment in our Tampa dental office.
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