A root canal has become an important dental treatment for maintaining the integrity of your smile by saving your natural teeth. You may need root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Sudden toothache or pain
- Change in the color of the tooth
- Changes in sensitivity to temperature
The procedure has developed in recent years and is typically no more painful or uncomfortable than a dental filling. At Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio, our effective and pain-free root canal treatment can preserve your natural teeth, remove infection, and prolong the longevity of teeth.
What to Expect With Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is a dental procedure performed to treat an infected or damaged tooth's pulp (the soft inner tissue containing nerves and blood vessels). Here's the general process.
Evaluation and X-rays
Before the procedure, our team examines the affected tooth and takes X-rays to assess the extent of the infection and to determine if a root canal is necessary. You’ll have an opportunity to ask any questions and have a thorough understanding of the procedure.
Before starting the root canal, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth. This ensures that you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
The dentist places a dental dam, a small rubber sheet, around the tooth to keep it dry and isolated during the procedure. This helps prevent saliva and bacteria from entering the treated area.
Access to the pulp
The dentist will create a small opening in the tooth's crown to access the infected pulp inside. If the tooth is severely decayed or broken, the dentist may need to remove any remaining decay or damaged tissue.
Cleaning and shaping
Using specialized tools, the dentist will carefully clean out the infected pulp from the inside of the tooth and shape the root canals to remove any remaining debris.
The root canals will be flushed with an antimicrobial solution to disinfect the area and eliminate bacteria.
Filling and sealing
Once the root canals are thoroughly cleaned and shaped, they are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. The canals are then sealed to prevent reinfection.
After the root canal treatment is completed, a temporary filling is placed in the access opening. You may need to schedule another appointment with your dentist to have a permanent restoration, such as a dental crown, placed on the treated tooth. The crown helps protect and strengthen the tooth, as root canal-treated teeth can become more brittle over time.
After the procedure, you may experience some tenderness or mild discomfort around the treated tooth. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any discomfort, and your dentist may prescribe medications if needed.
Root canal treatment has a high success rate and is designed to save the natural tooth, alleviate pain, and prevent the need for extraction. With proper care and regular dental check-ups, a tooth that has undergone a root canal can last a lifetime.